Multi-level Converters

3L-NPC.png
typical 3-level Neutral Point Clamped Converter topology. The switches are operated in pairs.

Multi-level converters utilise multiple switches (or combinations of switches) whose switching patterns can generate output waveforms that are closer to a pure sinusoidal wave (the ultimate target of any AC/XX or XX/AC conversion)

The figure illustrates a 3-level Neutral Point Clamped (NPC) converter topology whose semiconductor switches are operated in pairs. Thanks to the clamping diodes (D1,D2) the following advantages are obtained which are common many multilevel converters:

  • Semiconductor switches are rated for half the DC supply voltage.
  • The effective switching frequency of the switches is a fraction of that in a 2-level converter
  • The AC waveform comprises 3 voltage levels (E,0,-E) and as a result is somewhat closer to an ideal sinewave than the respective 2-level waveform).

-- KonstantinosPapastergiou - 28-Sep-2012

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Topic revision: r3 - 2012-10-03 - KonstantinosPapastergiou
 
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