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High-Power Modular Multilevel Converters With SiC JFETs

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8 Author(s)
Peftitsis, D. ; Electr. Machines & Power Electron. Lab., R. Inst. of Technol., Stockholm, Sweden ; Tolstoy, G. ; Antonopoulos, A. ; Rabkowski, J.
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This paper studies the possibility of building a modular multilevel converter (M2C) using silicon carbide (SiC) switches. The main focus is on a theoretical investigation of the conduction losses of such a converter and a comparison to a corresponding converter with silicon-insulated gate bipolar transistors. Both SiC BJTs and JFETs are considered and compared in order to choose the most suitable technology. One of the submodules of a down-scaled 3 kVA prototype M2C is replaced with a submodule with SiC JFETs without antiparallel diodes. It is shown that the diodeless operation is possible with the JFETs conducting in the negative direction, leaving the possibility to use the body diode during the switching transients. Experimental waveforms for the SiC submodule verify the feasibility during normal steady-state operation. The loss estimation shows that a 300 MW M2C for high-voltage direct current transmission would potentially have an efficiency of approximately 99.8% if equipped with future 3.3 kV 1.2 kA SiC JFETs.

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Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 1 )