The increased smart grid integration of renewable energy sources demands high power handling and wide controllability for the enabling power conversion technologies. The conventional energy conversion techniques are inadequate to efficiently handle the highly varying nature of renewable energy sources like wave, solar, tidal and wind. The present work examines the advantages of using a three-level buck-boost DC-DC converter to aid three-level neutral-point-clamped inverter based grid integration. There are two main reasons for using this converter. It can provide the conventional buck-boost capability at higher power levels for absorbing and conditioning the renewable source output. Besides, it can be used as a voltage balancing device to satisfy the input requirement for the three-level neutral-point-clamped inverter. The work includes complete operating range analysis of the converter for the combined buck-boost action and voltage balancing effects to understand its suitability for various applications. The converter switching modes of operation are also presented in detail along with essential example waveforms. The final results show good controllability bandwidth for the converter which makes it an attractive solution for smart grid integration of renewable energy sources. © 2014 IEEE.
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D. Ea Soman, Vikram, Kb, Krishna, Ra, Gabrysch, Ma, Kottayil, S. Kb, and Leijon, Ma, “Analysis of three-level buck-boost converter operation for improved renewable energy conversion and smart grid integration”, in ENERGYCON 2014 - IEEE International Energy Conference, Dubrovnik, 2014, pp. 76-81.