Introduction

This application presents a system with three DC/AC converters connected to a micro-grid. This could typically represent three photovoltaic inverters sharing a single PCC (point of common coupling).

The note is focused on the implementation on B-Box RCP, notably how to develop the control for all three converters from a single Simulink file. The note also addressed the implementation of interleaved operation, providing improved harmonic performance at the PCC.

Software resources

  File Modified
ZIP Archive Central_PV_inverter_triple_interleaved.zip Aug 18, 2020 by Julien Orsinger

Control implementation

Different approaches are possible for implementing multi-converter systems using B-Box RCP / B-Board PRO. They are summarized in PN114: Inter-devices communication.

As of August 17, 2020, only the following communication modes are possible:
- Multi-controller mode (independent controllers)
- I/O extension mode (master-slave)

The possible approaches can be compared in the following manner

Multi-controller mode


In this case, it is assumed that three B-Boxes are used, one for each converter system. Also, a Simulink/PLECS control file is flashed in each B-Box.

Pros

  • Best available computing power.

  • More intuitive approach.

Cons

  • PWM operation cannot be synchronized among all three converters

  • Grid-level operation cannot be simulated very easily with Simulink (multiple files). That’s however better with PLECS.

I/O extension mode


In this case, the control for all three converters is implemented in one single Simulink/PLECS file, using one master and two slaves. As such, only one CPU is operating (inside the master).

Pros

  • All three converters are very well synchronized.

  • Grid-level operation is easy to simulate.

Cons

  • Complex control algorithms may be too demanding for one single CPU.

  • Less intuitive approach.

As this example aims to focus on the converter interleaving, the I/O extension mode is chosen. The corresponding implementation is shown below.


For each converter system, the control is similar to that presented in AN006: Central PV inverter. It implements the following features:

  • Grid synchronization is achieved using a SOGI-PLL (see TN104).

  • The grid-tied inverter uses vector control for the grid current (see TN106).

  • DC bus voltage control is using a conventional cascaded control strategy (see TN108).

  • The boost is current-controlled using a basic PI controller (see TN105).

  • The maximum power point tracking (MPPT) is implemented using a Perturb&Observe approach, executed at a slower rate (see TN117).

Converter interleaving

Similarly to the operation of multi-phase DC/DC converters, the operation of several grid-tied inverters can be interleaved. This allows reducing the total current ripple, thereby improving the harmonic performance at the point of common coupling (PCC), notably on the measured voltage.

As presented in [1], the optimal phase-shift angle Ki for each converter Invi depends on the modulation depth. For high modulation indices, such as in grid-tied inverters, the best THD reduction is achieved with:

\begin{array}{l}\displaystyle \displaystyle K_i = i\cdot\frac{2\pi}{2n}\end{array}

where i is the inverter index and n the total number of interleaved converters.

In this case, the phase-shifts are therefore selected as \begin{array}{l}K_0=0.0\end{array}, \begin{array}{l}K_1=\pi/3\end{array} and \begin{array}{l}K_2=2\pi/3\end{array}.

References

[1] D. Zhang, F. Wang, R. Burgos, R. Lai and D. Boroyevich, "Impact of Interleaving on AC Passive Components of Paralleled Three-Phase Voltage-Source Converters," in IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, vol. 46, May-june 2010.

Simulation results

The provided Simulink file was used to generate the following simulation results. Various reference steps are included:

  • At 52ms, inverter 1 produces a step change of reactive power (quadrature current Iq1_ref)

  • At 76ms, inverter 2 produces a step change of reactive power (quadrature current Iq2_ref)

  • At 103ms, inverter 3 produces a step change of reactive power (quadrature current Iq3_ref)

  • At 150ms, all inverters undergo a DC bus voltage reference step (Udc_ref).

The following results compare the achieved results, with and without interleaved modulation.

Results without converter interleaving

Results with converter interleaving

Converter currents with interleaving

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