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Multilevel inverters have emerged as attractive high-power medium-voltage power-conversion systems. They are mainly controlled with high-frequency pulsewidth-modulation methods. This is not suitable for very high-power application due to significant switching losses. This paper presents an adaptive duty-cycle modulation algorithm that reduces the switching frequency to a minimum necessary to fulfill the dynamic requirements of the system. Switching losses are, therefore, strongly reduced. This is achieved by using the slope of the voltage reference to adapt the modulation period to ensure that only one-step change between two voltage levels. Simulation and experimental results are presented for a nine-level cascaded inverter. Voltage waveforms obtained for variable frequencies and amplitudes show similar switching patterns, with a reduced and near-constant number of commutations per cycle, regardless of the reference frequency and amplitude.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2007