Design and control of modular multilevel converters for battery electric vehicles

Mahran Quraan, Taejung Yeo, Pietro Tricoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


New advanced power conversion systems play an essential role in the extension of range and life of batteries. This paper proposes a new modular multilevel converter with embedded electrochemical cells that achieves very low cell unbalancing without traditional balancing circuits and a negligible harmonic content of the output currents. In this new topology, the cells are connected in series by means of half-bridge converters, allowing high flexibility for the discharge and recharge of the battery. The converter features a cell balancing control that operates on each individual arm of the converter to equalize the state of charge of the cells. The paper shows that the proposed control does not affect the symmetry of the three-phase voltage output, even for significantly unbalanced cells. The viability of the proposed converter for battery electric vehicles and the effectiveness of the cell balancing control are confirmed by numerical simulations and experiments on a kilowatt-size prototype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-517
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number1
Early online date3 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Battery electric vehicles (BEVs)
  • modular multilevel converters (MMCs)
  • state-of-charge balancing
  • traction drives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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