The cascaded H-bridge (CHB) converter is becoming a promising candidate for use in next generation large-scale photovoltaic (PV) power plants. However, solar power generation in the three converter phase-legs can be significantly unbalanced, especially in a large geographically-dispersed plant. The power imbalance between the three phases defines a limit for the injection of balanced three-phase currents to the grid. This paper quantifies the performance of, and experimentally confirms, the recently proposed delta-connected CHB converter for PV applications as an alternative configuration for large-scale PV power plants. The required voltage and current overrating for the converter is analytically developed and compared against the star-connected counterpart. It is shown that the delta-connected CHB converter extends the balancing capabilities of the star-connected CHB and can accommodate most imbalance cases with relatively small overrating. Experimental results from a laboratory prototype are provided to validate the operation of the delta-connected CHB converter under various power imbalance cases.
- AC–DC power converters
- Cascaded Hbridge (CHB) converter
- Multilevel converter
- Photovoltaic (PV)