Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Maryam Saeedifard

Second Advisor

Steven D. Pekarek

Committee Chair


Committee Co-Chair


Committee Member 1


Committee Member 2



The growing demand for wind power generation has pushed the capacity of wind turbines towards MW power levels. Higher capacity of the wind turbines necessitates operation of the generators and power electronic conversion systems at higher voltage/power levels. The power electronic conversion system of a wind energy conversion system (WECS) needs to meet the stringent requirements in terms of reliability, efficiency, scalability and ease of maintenance, power quality, and dv/dt stress on the generator/transformer. Although the multilevel converters including the neutral point clamped (NPC) converter and the active NPC converter meet most of the requirements, they fall short in reliability and scalability. Motivated by modularity/scalability feature of the modular multilevel converter (MMC), this research is to enable the MMC to meet all of the stringent requirements of the WECS by addressing their unique control challenges. This research presents systematic modeling and control of the MMC to enable it to be a potential converter topology for grid integration of full-scale WECSs. Based on the developed models, appropriate control systems for control of circulating current and capacitor voltages under fixed- and variable-frequency operations are proposed. Using the developed MMC models, a gradient-based cosimulation algorithm to optimize the gains of the developed control systems, is proposed. Performance/effectiveness of the developed models and the proposed control systems for the back-to-back MMC-based WECS are evaluated/verified based on simulations studies in the PSCAD/EMTDC software environment and experimental case studies on a laboratory-scale hardware prototype.