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Analysis of some design choices in model based predictive control of flying‐capacitor inverters

Thomas Vyncke (Department of Electrical Energy, Systems and Automation, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium)
Steven Thielemans (Department of Electrical Energy, Systems and Automation, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium)
Michiel Jacxsens (Department of Electrical Energy, Systems and Automation, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium)
Jan Melkebeek (Department of Electrical Energy, Systems and Automation, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium)

Abstract

Purpose

Flying‐capacitor multilevel converters (FCC) need a passive or active regulation of the capacitor voltages. Recently the trend is towards active control, often implemented separately from the current control. The advantages of a true multi‐variable control sparked the interest to apply Model Based Predictive Control (MBPC) for FCC. In this paper an objective analysis method to evaluate the effects of several design choices is presented. The effects of the weight factor selection, model simplification, and prediction horizon expansion for MBPC of a 3‐level FCC are analyzed in a systematical way.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is mainly based on the mean square error (MSE) of current and capacitor voltage. The results are analysed for different lengths of the prediction horizon and for a wide range of weight factor values. Similarly the effect of a model simplification, neglecting the neutral point voltage, is studied when implementing MBPC for FCCs while considering the computational aspects. Validation of the simulation results is done by experiments on an FPGA‐based setup.

Findings

Including the effect of the neutral point voltage considerably increases the current control quality and a much wider range of good values for the weight factor exists. As this good range is not critically dependent on the current amplitude it is possible to select one weight factor value for all operating points. Furthermore, it is concluded that increasing the prediction horizon increases the computational load without improving the control quality.

Research limitations/implications

The effects of increasing the prediction horizon when including other controlled variables is to be investigated, as well as the robustness to modeling errors. The MSE analysis methodology is very suitable for this further research.

Practical implications

For practitioners of MBPC in power electronics the paper proves that by means of simulations and the MSE one value for weight factor can be chosen for all operating points. The paper clearly shows that a practical implementation is feasible and demonstrates that neglecting the neutral point voltage is not good practice.

Originality/value

The MSE‐based analysis is shown to be a systematical and unbiased methodology to evaluate the effects of design choices. The results from this analysis can be directly applied in practical setups.

Keywords

Citation

Vyncke, T., Thielemans, S., Jacxsens, M. and Melkebeek, J. (2012), "Analysis of some design choices in model based predictive control of flying‐capacitor inverters", COMPEL - The international journal for computation and mathematics in electrical and electronic engineering, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 619-635. https://doi.org/10.1108/03321641211200617

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited