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Recent research in flying capacitor multilevel inverters (FCMIs) has shown that the number of voltage levels can be extended by changing the ratio of the capacitor voltages. For the three-cell FCMI, four levels of operation are expected if the traditional ratio of the capacitor voltages is 1:2:3. However, by altering the ratio, the inverter can operate as a five-, six-, seven-, or eight-level inverter. According to previous research, the eight-level case is referred to as maximally distended (or full binary combination schema) since it utilizes all possible transistor switching states. However, this case does not have enough per-phase redundancy to ensure capacitor voltage balancing under all modes of operation. In this paper, redundancy involving all phases is used along with per-phase redundancy to improve capacitor voltage balancing. It is shown that the four- and five-level cases are suitable for motor drive operation and can maintain capacitor voltage balance under a wide range of power factors and modulation indices. The six-, seven-, and eight-level cases are suitable for reactive power transfer in applications such as static var compensation. Simulation and laboratory measurements verify the proposed joint-phase redundancy control.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2006