skip to main content

Title: A Fault-Tolerant Hybrid Cascaded H-Bridge Topology
This paper presents the fault-tolerant operation for a cascaded H-bridge (CHB) inverter. The added features ensure reliable and robust operation in the event of a fault. The proposed strategy uses an additional cross-coupled CHB (X-CHB) unit in companion with the existing CHB to support the output voltage and ensure continuity of operation in case of an open/short circuit fault. The operation of the proposed X-CHB inverter is described in detail. Simulation and experimental verification of the proposed concept is demonstrated using a seven-level CHB. Both simulation and experimental results validate the fault-tolerant operation of the CHB for a battery energy storage system (BESS) in case of switch faults such as open/short-circuit switch faults or dc-source or battery failure.
; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
2019 IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
6376 to 6381
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. This paper presents the study and evaluation of a medium-voltage grid-tied cascaded H-bridge (CHB) three-phase inverter for battery energy storage systems using SiC devices as an enabling technology. The high breakdown voltage capability of SiC devices provide the advantage to significantly minimize the complexity of the CHB multilevel converter, with less power loss compared to when Silicon (Si) devices are used. The topology in this study has been selected based on high voltage SiC devices. In order to reach 13.8 kV, a nine-level CHB is needed when using 6.5 kV SiC MOSFETs. However, if 10 kV SiC MOSFETs are used, only five-levels of the CHB are required. The controls were developed, simulated and verified through an experimental prototype. The results from the scaled-down prototype proved the controls and the verification of the performance of five-level CHB three-phase inverter. For the system reliability, both open-loop and short-circuit faults are analyzed.
  2. Due to limited amplitude and controlled phase of current supplied by inverter-interfaced renewable power plants (IIRPPs), the IIRPP-side distance protection of lines connected to IIRPPs fails to detect the fault location accurately, so it may malfunction. The composite sequence network of a line connected to an IIRPP during asymmetrical faults is analyzed, and an adaptive distance protection based on the analytical model of additional impedance is proposed in this study. Based on open circuit property of negative-sequence network at the IIRPP-side, the equivalent impedance of power grid and current flowing through fault point are calculated in real-time using local measurements, which are substituted into the analytical model of additional impedance to calculate fault location. In the case of negative-sequence reactive current injection from IIRPPs during asymmetrical faults, the error of calculating fault point current from local measurements is analyzed and corrected to ensure reliability of the proposed protection. The proposed protection alleviates the effect of fault resistance in a system with weak sources. In addition, the proposed protection can adapt to different grid codes (GCs), the operation mode change of the power grid, and the capacity change of the IIRPP. PSCAD/EMTDC test results verify the effectiveness of the proposed protection.
  3. This paper proposes a simple and fast technique for power device open circuit (OC) fault detection in stacked multicell converters (SMCs). A mitigation technique allowing for fault-tolerant operation using a simple front-end routing circuit is also proposed for SMCs. The fault detection concept only needs to sense the voltage and direction of current at the output terminal of the SMC to detect and localize an OC switch fault to a particular rail of the SMC. The proposed technique compares the measured and expected voltage levels considering the commanded switch states and the direction of the terminal current flow. Once an OC fault is detected and localized, the front-end routing circuit will be activated to reconfigure the SMC converter to a simple flying capacitor multilevel converter (FCMC) to maintain the output power flow with a reduced number of voltage levels. A window detector circuit is proposed to track the output voltage level and current direction with high bandwidth. Simulations were performed to validate the fault detection method and router performance. The functionality of windows detector is investigated with a hardware prototype 7 level 300 V SMC.
  4. This article identifies and validates the use of ultrafast silicon carbide (SiC) junction field effect transistor (JFET)-based self-powered solid-state circuit breakers (SSCBs) as the enabling protective device for a 340 Vdc residential dc community microgrid. These SSCBs will be incorporated into a radial distribution system in order to enhance fault discrimination through autonomous operation. Because of the nature and characteristics of short-circuit fault inception in dc microgrids, the time-current trip characteristics of protective devices must be several orders of magnitude faster than conventional circuit breakers. The proposed SSCBs detect short-circuit faults by sensing the sudden voltage rise between its two power terminals and draw power from the fault condition itself to turn off SiC JFETs and then, coordinate with no-load contacts that can isolate the fault. Depending upon the location of the SSCBs in the microgrid, either unidirectional or bidirectional implementations are incorporated. Cascaded SSCBs are tuned using a simple resistor change to enable fault discrimination between upstream high-current feeds and downstream lower current branches. Operation of one of the SSCBs and three in cascaded arrangements are validated both in simulation and with a hardware test platform. Thermal impact on the SSCB is discussed as well. The target application ismore »a residential dc microgrid that will be installed as part of a revitalization effort of an inner city Milwaukee neighborhood.« less
  5. The increasing importance of power electronic converters in supplying electrical energy to utility grids places a higher priority to detect and protect against fault conditions. Fault detection and isolation are particularly important for inverters that provide black-start recovery for microgrids since these converters provide the energy source for restoration after a power outage. This paper presents a new fault detection and location method for Cascaded H-Bridge (CHB) multilevel inverters. The new fault detection method is based on monitoring the output voltage of each cell and output current directions along with each switch’s state. By monitoring each cell’s output voltage and current direction, the faulty cell can be detected and isolated. After the faulty cell is detected, the faulty switch can be located by comparing the current direction with the switching states. This technique is implemented with Level-Shifted Pulse Width Modulation (LS-PWM) in order to maintain acceptable total harmonic distortion (THD) levels at the converter. The proposed method can be implemented for a CHB with any number of cells, can operate with nonlinear loads, and offers very fast detection times. Simulation and experimental results verify the performance of this method.