Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Poblete P., Pizarro G., Droguett G., Nuñez F., Judge P., Pereda J. (2022)

Distributed Neural Network Observer for Submodule Capacitor Voltage Estimation in Modular Multilevel Converters

Revista : IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Modular multilevel converters (MMCs) have become one of the most popular power converters for medium/high power transmission systems and motor drive applications. Standard control schemes for MMCs use a voltage measurement per submodule (SM) to balance the capacitor voltages and govern the MMC. Consequently, the control system requires a significant amount of sensors and the effective communication of sensitive data under relevant electromagnetic interference, impacting the reliability and cost of the MMC. This work presents a distributed Neural Network (DNN) observer inspired by a general predictor-corrector structure for estimating the capacitor voltages at each SM. The proposed observer predicts each SM capacitor voltage using a standard average model. Then, each prediction is corrected and denoised by a neural network of reduced computational complexity. As a result, the proposed observer reduces the number of required voltage sensors per arm to only one and filters the high-frequency noise without noticeable delay in the estimated SM capacitor voltages for both transient and steady-state operation. Experiments conducted in a three-phase MMC with 24 SMs confirm the effectiveness of the proposed DNN observer.