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Neutral Point Clamped and Cascaded H-Bridge Multilevel Inverter Topologies – A Comparison

Affiliations

  • School of Electrical Engineering, VIT University, Chennai – 600127, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract


Objectives: This work emphasizes on the analysis of two five levels inverter topologies - neutral point clamped topology and Cascaded H-Bridge inverter topology. Methods/Analysis: The neutral point clamped topology requires only one DC source, eight switches and four clamping diodes with two voltage balancing capacitors. The cascaded topology carries two voltage sources and eight switching devices. Phase disposition pulse width modulation technique generates gating pulses for both the multilevel inverter topologies. All the simulations are done in MATLAB-Simulink simulation environment. Findings: The output waveforms, switching stress and harmonic spectrum of the output waveforms of both the inverter topologies are obtained using phase disposition pulse width modulation technique for a modulation index of unity. Moreover, the work aims to perform a comparison of both the inverter topologies with respect to total harmonic distortion, switch stress and complexity of the topology. It is found that though a cascaded inverter needs less overall components when compared to neutral point clamped inverter, yet both the inverter topologies carries the same stress across their switches and produce an almost the same harmonic distortion on their output waveforms. Applications/Improvement: Conventional voltage source inverters are gradually being replaced by multilevel inverters in various applications like photovoltaic systems, reactive power compensators, FACTS devices, adjustable speed drives etc. The stress across each of the switches gets decreased in both the multilevel inverter topologies compared to conventional inverters. Further, neutral point clamped inverters carry the advantage of requiring only one DC source for its operation.

Keywords

Cascaded H-Bridge (CHB), Neutral Point Clamped (NPC), Sinusoidal Pulse Width Modulation (SPWM), Total Harmonic Distortion (THD).

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