The thermal cycling of power switching devices may lead to failures that compromise the reliability of power converters. Wind Turbine Systems (WTS) are especially subject to severe thermal cycling which may be caused by the wind speed variations or power grid faults. This paper proposes a control method to relieve the thermal cycling of power switching devices under severe wind speed variations, by circulating reactive power among the parallel power converters in a WTS or among the WTS's in a wind park. The amount of reactive power is adjusted to limit the junction temperature fluctuation in the most stressed devices. The possible model-based control system for the proposed method is demonstrated, designed and simulated based on the Three-level Neutral-Point- Clamped (3L-NPC) grid-connected converters. It is concluded that with the proposed reactive power control method, the junction temperature fluctuation in the most stressed devices of 3L-NPC wind power inverter under severe wind speed variations can be significantly stabilized, and the reliability of the power converter can thereby be improved while the increased stress of the other devices in the same power converter and in the paralleled ones is still acceptable.
Proceedings of the 4th Ieee Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ecce), 2012, 2012, p. 3105-3112
the Fourth IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition, ECCE 2012