Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level



Electrical Engineering


Yue Zhao

Committee Member

Juan C. Balda

Second Committee Member

Roy A. McCann

Third Committee Member

Haitao Liao


medium voltage, high-density power converters, silicon carbide


Using on-board medium voltage (MV) dc distribution system has been a megatrend for next-generation electric aircraft systems due to its ability to enable a significant system mass reduction. In addition, it makes electric propulsion more feasible using MV power electronic converters. To develop high-performance high-density MV power converters, the emerging silicon carbide (SiC) devices are more attractive than their silicon (Si) counterparts, since the fast switch frequency brought by the SiC can effectively reduce the volume and weight of the filter components and thus increase the converter power density. From the converter topology perspective, with the MV dc distribution, the state-of-the-art two-level converters are no longer suitable for next-generation electric aircraft system due to the excessive dv/dt and high voltage stress across the power devices.To address these issues while still maintaining cost-effectiveness, this work demonstrates a megawatt-scale MV seven-level (7-L) Si/SiC hybrid converter prototype implemented by active-neutral-point-clamped (ANPC) converter and H-bridges which is called ANPC-H converter in this work, and a MV five-level (5-L) Si/SiC hybrid ANPC converter prototype, which are hybrid multilevel converters with internal cascaded and paralleled structures, respectively. Using multilevel circuit topology, the voltage stress across the devices and converter output voltage dv/dt are reduced. The tradeoff between the system cost and efficiency was addressed by the adoption of the Si/SiC hybrid configuration with optimized modulation strategies. Comprehensive design and evaluation of the full-scale prototypes are elaborated, including the low-inductance busbar designs, power converter architecture optimization and system integration. To control the 7-L Si/SiC hybrid ANPC-H converter prototype, a low computational burden space-vector-modulation (SVM) with common-mode voltage reduction feature is proposed to fully exploit the benefits of 7-L Si/SiC hybrid ANPC-H converter. To further reduce the converter losses and simplify control algorithm, an active hybrid modulation is proposed in this work by applying low frequency modulation in Si cells and high frequency modulation in SiC cells, thus the control framework is simplified from the 7-L SVM to a three-level SVM. To control the 5-L Si/SiC hybrid ANPC converter prototype to overall loss minimization, the low frequency modulation and high frequency modulation are also adopted for Si cells and SiC cells respectively in 5-L Si/SiC hybrid ANPC converter prototype. Compared to the SVM-based hybrid modulation in 7-L ANPC-H converter, the hybrid modulation for 5-L hybrid ANPC adopts a simpler carrier-phase-shifted pulse width modulation for its inner-paralleled high frequency SiC cells, which extensively suppresses harmonics caused by high frequency switching. With the proposed modulation strategies, extensive simulation and experimental results are provided to evaluate the performance of each power stage and the full converter assembly in both the steady-state operation and variable frequency operations of the demonstrated hybrid converters.