Review of Hybrid Multilevel Converter Topologies Utilizing Thyristors for HVDC Applications

Hybrid multilevel converters using bidirectional thyristors and IGBTs have gained significant interest in recent times, as they possess important features of both voltage-source and line-commutated converter technologies. This article presents a classification of hybrid multilevel converters for HVdc applications. The methodologies to derive, evaluate, and select these converter topologies are proposed as well. The hybrid converters are classified from the power device to the system configuration based on the analogy of the voltage-source converter and the current-source converter. Derivation methods of hybrid cell, cluster, arm, phase, and converter, based on the topology tree presented in this article, are applied to derive both existing and new hybrid converters. Comparisons show that hybrid converters have functionality similar to either the modular multilevel converter or the line-commutated converter, depending on the ratio between thyristor and active switch IGBT counts employed. Several hybrid-station configurations are discussed in order to suggest the most suitable converter topology for each configuration. The presented analysis can provide a point of reference and a useful framework for the future developments of hybrid multilevel converters for HVdc applications.

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