Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Degree Level



Electrical Engineering


Juan C. Balda

Committee Member

Alan Mantooth

Second Committee Member

Alan Mantooth

Third Committee Member

Roy McCann


Applied sciences, Hvdc transmission, Modular multilevel converters, Power electronics


This thesis focus on high voltage direct current (HVdc) energy transmission using modular multilevel converter (MMC) based terminals. It provides a brief comparison between different HVdc technologies, focusing on voltage source converters (HVdc-VSC) with the MMC-based terminal emerging as the topology of choice for ratings less than 1 GW. The controllers for a two-terminal HVdc-link are analyzed and Matlab/SimulinkTM simulation models are presented. The simplified models and full Matlab/SimulinkTM based model are used to select the gains for the MMC controllers. Simulation results carried out on the full model validated the proposed methodologies. A new control technique that eliminates the voltage sensors on the grid side normally used to synchronize the MMC-based terminal with the grid is proposed. The performance of proposed technique was evaluated through Matlab/SimulinkTM simulations by considering inverter operation. The sensorless technique is able to synchronize a MMC-based inverter terminal to a grid under non-ideal conditions as well to accurately detect changes in the grid voltages. Finally, an analysis of the impact that a 15-kV SiC IGBT would have on HVdc MMC-based terminals is presented. The analysis evaluates parasitic inductances within the sub-module (SM) of an MMC, changes on the required SM capacitance, and impact on the voltage waveform THD. The evaluations showed that the 15-kV SiC IGBT would be only suitable if the module is rated 400 A or greater.