Recent advances and industrial applications of multilevel converters

Samir Kouro, Mariusz Malinowski, K. Gopakumar, Josep Pou, Leopoldo G. Franquelo, Bin Wu, Jose Rodriguez, Marcelo A. Perez, Jose I. Leon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2710 Citations (Scopus)


Multilevel converters have been under research and development for more than three decades and have found successful industrial application. However, this is still a technology under development, and many new contributions and new commercial topologies have been reported in the last few years. The aim of this paper is to group and review these recent contributions, in order to establish the current state of the art and trends of the technology, to provide readers with a comprehensive and insightful review of where multilevel converter technology stands and is heading. This paper first presents a brief overview of well-established multilevel converters strongly oriented to their current state in industrial applications to then center the discussion on the new converters that have made their way into the industry. In addition, new promising topologies are discussed. Recent advances made in modulation and control of multilevel converters are also addressed. A great part of this paper is devoted to show nontraditional applications powered by multilevel converters and how multilevel converters are becoming an enabling technology in many industrial sectors. Finally, some future trends and challenges in the further development of this technology are discussed to motivate future contributions that address open problems and explore new possibilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5482117
Pages (from-to)2553-2580
Number of pages28
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Active filters (AFs)
  • Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS)
  • control
  • high-power applications
  • high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission
  • marine propulsion
  • modulation
  • multilevel converters
  • photovoltaic systems
  • train traction
  • wind energy conversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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