In wind turbine generation (WTG) systems, a back-to-back converter with a neutral-point-clamped (NPC) topology is widely used because this topology has more advantages than a conventional two-level topology, particularly when operating at high power. There are 12 switches in the NPC topology. An open-switch fault in the NPC rectifier of the back-to-back converter leads to the distortion of the input current and torque vibration in the system. Additionally, an open-switch fault in the NPC inverter of the back-to-back converter causes the distortion of the output current. Furthermore, the WTG system can break down in the worst case scenario. To improve the reliability of WTG systems, an open-switch fault detection method for back-to-back converters using the NPC topology is required. This study analyzes effects of inner and outer open-switch faults of the NPC rectifier and inverter and describes a novel open-switch fault detection method for all possible open-switch faults in the back-to-back converter.
I E E E Transactions on Industry Applications, 2015, Vol 51, Issue 1, p. 325-335