Boost multilevel cascade inverter for hydrogen fuel cell light railway vehicles

Ivan Krastev, Pietro Tricoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This paper presents a ground breaking traction drive for fuel cell powered light rail vehicles based on a multilevel cascade converter with H-bridge cells. The converter provides dc-ac power conversion with unique buck-boost capability to compensate for the variation of fuel cell terminal voltage with the load power. In comparison to a conventional boost inverter, based on the cascade connection of a boost dc-dc converter and a voltage source inverter, the proposed converter has the significant benefits of much smaller inductor size, lower dc side current ripple, and multilevel voltage waveforms at the ac output. This paper presents the converter modelling and design of the boost inductor and sub-module capacitors, taking into account the full speed range of the motor. The concept has been fully validated on a bespoke experimental prototype driving a small induction motor, showing the suitability of the proposed converter as a traction drive for hydrogen-powered rail vehicles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Early online date25 Aug 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Aug 2021


  • capacitors
  • inverters
  • inductors
  • fuel cells
  • legged locomotion
  • voltage control
  • induction motors
  • fuel cell vehicles
  • modular multilevel converters
  • boost converters
  • traction drives


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