Modular Multilevel Series/Parallel Converter for Bipolar DC Distribution and Transmission

Ricardo Lizana F., Sebastian Rivera*, Zhongxi Li, Apparao Dekka, Luis Rosenthal, Hans Bahamonde I., Angel V. Peterchev, Stefan M. Goetz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This article proposes a novel bipolar-type dc system suitable for both distribution and transmission systems based on modular multilevel series/parallel converters (MMSPCs). The system features decoupled operations of each pole of the bipolar system, being able to operate in both asymmetrical and regenerative modes. This enables two independent dc systems by using a single grid-tied converter. The MMSPC is based on a three-switch cell configuration and enables a simple balancing mechanism in combination with a wide range of output voltage frequencies. The simple balancing mechanism is the key to enable the dc operation and lead to simpler scalability for different voltage levels. Theoretical studies and experimental results are provided to verify and characterize the proposed system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9103569
Pages (from-to)1765-1779
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received October 21, 2019; revised December 19, 2019, February 10, 2020, April 14, 2020, and May 21, 2020; accepted May 22, 2020. Date of publication May 29, 2020; date of current version April 1, 2021. This work was supported in part by Agencia Nacional de Investigacion y Desarrollo (ANID) projects: Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT) under Grant 1201344, AC3E (ANID-Basal Project FB0008), the Solar Energy Research Center (SERC)-Chile under Grant ANID/FONDAP/15110019, Apoyo a la Formación de Redes Interna-cionales entre Centros de Investigación-Programa de Cooperación Interna-cional (REDES-PCI) under Grant 190108, in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant 1608929, in part by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center under Grant 2016-CFG-8004, a seed grant from the Duke University Energy Initiative, and in part by the Lakehead University SRC NSERC Research Development Fund 2020 under Project 1467749. Recommended for publication by Associate Editor Grain Philip Adam. (Corresponding author: Sebastian Rivera.) Ricardo Lizana F., Luis Rosenthal, and Hans Bahamonde I. are with the Department of Electrical Engineering, Universidad Catolica de la Santisima Concepción, Concepción 4090541, Chile (e-mail:;;

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.


  • Dc bipolar systems
  • dc distribution
  • dc transmission
  • multilevel converter


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