Techno-economic evaluation of five-level nested neutral point clamped converter topology for transformer-less connection of high-power wind energy conversion systems
Developers and operators are interested in improving the reliability and reducing the associated costs of wind power plants (WPPs) because of the continuous increase in the power capacity of wind energy conversion systems (WECSs) and the increasing development of WPPs. The electrical subsystem of the WPP experiences the highest failure rate and constitutes a significant proportion of its total cost. Reliability of the WECS can be increased and its cost reduced by eliminating the wind turbine transformer from the electrical subsystem. This study gives a techno-economic evaluation of a five-level nested neutral point clamped (NNPC) converter topology for transformer-less connection of high- power WECSs. The approach entailed the calculation of reliability of five-level NNPC converter topology deployed in the grid-side of a WECSs. This method presents a mathematical formula for deriving the reliability of a five-level NNPC converter topology by using the reliability block diagram and reliability estimation-based models in the military handbook (MIL-HDBK-217F). The cost analysis model shows that the total cost of the five-level diode clamped converter topology was higher than the five-level NNPC converter topology. The study could be extended by carrying out accurate modelling of the mission profile of the presented converter by using multi-domain simulation technique.
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