Modular Multilevel Converter-Based Bipolar High-Voltage Pulse Generator with Sensorless Capacitor Voltage Balancing Technique

Ahmed A. Elserougi, Ahmed M. Massoud, Shehab Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In order to generate bipolar high-voltage (HV) pulses across certain load from HV dc (HVdc) power supply, a voltage source inverter (VSI) stage should be inserted between the load and the supply. In order to meet the required HV level, series connection of semiconductor devices should be employed with dynamic voltage sharing between the involved devices. Modular multilevel converter (MMC) can be used instead of the conventional two-level VSI to alleviate the complexity introduced by the deployment of series-connected devices. The voltage level of the HVdc power supply and the voltage rating of the available semiconductor devices determine the suitable number of MMC voltage levels ( N ). Capacitor voltage balancing is a vital issue for proper operation of the MMC. In general, conventional sensor-based balancing techniques require a significant amount of measurements, which increases the complexity of the system. In addition, the high dv/dt during switching times causes electromagnetic interference, which may adversely affect the accuracy of the measurements. In this paper, a sensorless voltage balancing technique is proposed for the MMC-based bipolar HV pulse generator that reduces the system sensitivity, cost, and complexity. A detailed illustration of the proposed approach is presented in this paper. The simulation and experimental results are used to validate the proposed concept.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7490421
Pages (from-to)1187-1194
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2019-11-27


  • Bipolar pulse generation
  • modular multilevel converter (MMC)
  • sensorless voltage balancing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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