Current-Fed Multilevel Converters: An Overview of Circuit Topologies, Modulation Techniques, and Applications

Kulothungan Gnanasambandam, Akshay Kumar Rathore, Amarendra Edpuganti, Dipti Srinivasan, Jose Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Multilevel converters (MLCs) have emerged as standard power electronic converters in high power as well as quality demanding applications. They are classified into current-fed MLCs and voltage-fed MLCs. Voltage-fed MLCs have widely researched whereas the current-fed MLCs are the recent topic of research. Based on the principle of duality between voltage and current sources, several current-fed MLCs analogous to voltage-fed MLCs have been identified. Current-fed MLCs offer several advantages in terms of high power capability, transformerless operation, short-circuit protection, and excellent quality of output current waveform. The goal of this paper is: 1) to present review of circuit topologies, modulation schemes, and applications of current-fed MLCs; and 2) to review an emerging low-device switching frequency modulation technique known as synchronous optimal pulsewidth modulation for current-fed MLCs. The circuit configuration and advantages of each topology along with various modulation techniques are discussed in detail. Compared to voltage-fed MLCs, the operation of current-fed MLCs need to satisfy additional switching constraints. A survey of classical methods for realization of these operational constraints has been done and a new generalized method has been proposed. Finally, future scope of research has been presented to encourage further development of topologies and modulation techniques for current-fed MLCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7501545
Pages (from-to)3382-3401
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • Current-fed multilevel converters
  • low switching frequency modulation techniques
  • modulation techniques
  • solar power integration
  • synchronous optimal pulsewidth modulation (SOP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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