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The introduction of multilevel converters makes possible the use of pulse width modulation (PWM) converters and medium power devices like insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) for high-voltage, high-power applications, such as flexible ac transmission systems (FACTS). This paper proposes a 5-level voltage source inverter-chopper topology for a superconductive magnetic energy storage (SMES) power conditioning system (PCS). The topological structure and operation principles of 5-level VSI and 5-level chopper are discussed. The performance of the proposed converter system has been compared with a traditional transformer coupled multi-pulse VSI-chopper topology. The application of the proposed 5-level SMES PCS to static var compensator (SVC) has been investigated and verified by computer simulations.