Real-Time Implementation of a Packed U-Cell Seven-Level Inverter with Low Switching Frequency Voltage Regulator


In this paper a new cascaded nonlinear controller has been designed and implemented on the packed U-Cell (PUC) seven-level inverter. Proposed controller has been designed based on a simplified model of PUC inverter and consists of a voltage controller as outer loop and a current controller as inner loop. The outer loop regulates the PUC inverter capacitor voltage as the second DC bus. The inner loop is in charge of controlling the flowing current which is also used to charge and discharge that capacitor. The main goal of the whole system is to keep the DC capacitor voltage at a certain level results in generating a smooth and quasi-sine-wave 7-level voltage waveform at the output of the inverter with low switching frequency. The proposed controller performance is verified through experimental tests. Practical results prove the good dynamic performance of the controller in fixing the PUC capacitor voltage for various and variable load conditions and yet generating low harmonic 7-level voltage waveform to deliver power to the loads. Operation as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or AC loads interface for photovoltaic energy conversion applications is targeted.


  1. Packed U-Cell
  2. Multilevel Inverter
  3. Voltage Balancing
  4. Nonlinear Controller
  5. Renewable energy conversion



Fig. 1. Block diagram of proposed controller applied on 7-level PUC inverter


Fig. 2. PUC inverter voltage and current waveforms in steady state condition

Fig. 3. Voltage regulation during a fast 66% increase in DC source amplitude

Fig. 4. Adding a nonlinear load (rectifier) to the PUC inverter while supplying an RL load


In this paper a new cascaded nonlinear controller has been designed for 7-level PUC inverter based on the simple model derived by multilevel inverter topology concept. Experimental results showed appropriate dynamic performance of the proposed controller in stand-alone mode as UPS, renewable energy conversion system or motor drive applications. Different changes in the load and DC bus voltage have been made intentionally during the tests to challenge the controller reaction in tracking the voltage and current references. Proposed controller demonstrated satisfying performance in fixing the capacitor voltage of the PUC inverter, generating seven-level voltage with low harmonic content at the output of the PUC inverter and ensures low switching frequency operation of those switches. By applying the designed controller on the 7-level PUC inverter it can be promised to have a multilevel converter with maximum voltage levels while using less active switches and DC sources aims at manufacturing a low-cost converter with high efficiency, low switching frequency, low power losses and also low harmonic contents without using any additional bulky filters.


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