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This paper compares four power converter topologies for the implementation of flexible AC transmission system (FACTS) controllers: three multilevel topologies (multipoint clamped (MPC), chain, and nested cell) and the well-established multipulse topology. In keeping with the need to implement very-high-power inverters, switching frequency is restricted to line frequency. The study addresses device count, DC filter ratings, restrictions on voltage control, active power transfer through the DC link, and balancing of DC-link voltages. Emphasis is placed on capacitor sizing because of its impact on the cost and size of the FACTS controller. A method for the dimensioning the DC capacitor filter is presented. It is found that the chain converter is attractive for the implementation of a static compensator or a static synchronous series compensator. The MPC converter is attractive for the implementation of a unified power flow controller or an interline power flow controller, but a special arrangement is required to overcome the limitations on voltage control.
Date of Publication: Oct 2002