Capacitor and Switch Size Comparisons on High-Power Medium-Voltage DC-DC Converters with Three-Phase Medium-Frequency Transformer
Journal article, 2020

This paper compares the capacitor requirement of selected isolated DC-DC converters for high-power and medium-voltage applications. A numerical comparison is made for a range of switching frequencies and transition times, considering not only the sub-module capacitors of the converters but also the DC-link capacitors. Likewise, a comparison regarding the semiconductor requirement is performed for the converters. Selected inverter topologies to form the dual-active-bridge (DAB) DCDC converter include the two-level converter (2LC), the modular multi-level converter (MMC), the transition arm converter (TAC), the modular transition arm converter (MTAC), and the controlled transition bridge converter (CTB). The results show that conventional DAB requires the minimum capacitor size among the converters. Moreover, in the appropriate operation region, the MTAC-DAB and the CTB-DAB provide the possibility of up to 40% and 60% reduction in the amount of required energy storage compared to the MMC-DAB, respectively. It is also shown that the size of the DC-link capacitors become comparable with the chain-links’ capacitors when the percentage of the transition times per period is reduced to be below 5%. The comparison regarding the semiconductor requirement revealed that the MMC-DAB requires the smallest installed switch power among the multi-level converters.

capacitor sizing

DC-DC power conversion

medium-frequency transformer (MFT)

modular multi-level converter (MMC)

three-phase dual-activebridge (DAB)


Babak Alikhanzadehalamdari

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering, Electrical Machines and Power Electronics

Yuhei Okazaki

ABB Corporate Research Center

Torbjörn Thiringer

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering, Electrical Machines and Power Electronics

IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics

2168-6777 (ISSN) 2168-6785 (eISSN)

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