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Transformerless Single-Phase Multilevel-Based Photovoltaic Inverter

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4 Author(s)
Gonzalez, R. ; Dept. of Electr. & Electron. Eng., Public Univ. of Navarra, Pamplona ; Gubia, Eugenio ; Lopez, J. ; Marroyo, L.

The elimination of the output transformer from grid- connected photovoltaic (PV) systems not only reduces the cost, size, and weight of the conversion stage but also increases the system overall efficiency. However, if the transformer is removed, the galvanic isolation between the PV generator and the grid is lost. This may cause safety hazards in the event of ground faults. In addition, the circulation of leakage currents (common-mode currents) through the stray capacitance between the PV array and the ground would be enabled. Furthermore, when no transformer is used, the inverter could inject direct current (dc) to the grid, causing the saturation of the transformers along the distribution network. While safety requirements in transformerless systems can be met by means of external elements, leakage currents and the injection of dc into the grid must be guaranteed topologically or by the inverter's control system. This paper proposes a new high-efficiency topology for transformerless systems, which does not generate common-mode currents and topologically guarantees that no dc is injected into the grid. The proposed topology has been verified in a 5-kW prototype with satisfactory results.

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Industrial Electronics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 7 )