Efficiency evaluation of the modular multilevel converter based on Si and SiC switching devices for medium/high-voltage applications

Liyao Wu, Jiangchao Qin, Maryam Saeedifard, Oleg Wasynczuk, Krishna Shenai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


The modular multilevel converter (MMC) is the most promising converter topology for medium- and high-power applications. One of the main concerns in the operation of the MMC, particularly for high-power applications, is its efficiency, which should be maximized. Silicon Carbide (SiC)-based devices have the potential to provide significant efficiency improvement compared with silicon devices. However, the possibility and impact of using SiC-based devices instead of silicon devices for high-power conversion have not been thoroughly explored. This paper reports on the results obtained from a detailed study to evaluate the performance of MMCs based on medium-voltage SiC MOSFETs and diodes with hybrid MMCs that employ silicon IGBTs and SiC diodes. The results are based on detailed circuit simulations that use simple physics-based circuit models. The study suggests the potential for significant efficiency gain for MMCs based on SiC power devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6985656
Pages (from-to)286-293
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Efficiency
  • Loss analysis
  • Modular multilevel converter (MMC)
  • Silicon IGBT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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