Document Type : Research Paper



This paper presents a new method to find the optimum switching angles in voltage source multilevel converters in order to minimize specific higher order harmonics and decrease the total harmonic distortion (THD) of their output voltage waveform. The output voltage waveform of inverter can either be in the form of staircase or PWM. In order to increase the degrees of freedom and elimination of more harmonics, one can increase the number of levels or use PWM waveform which has more switching than once at each level. However, both of them result in complexity of nonlinear transcendental equations which solving them by using conventional numerical iterative techniques such as Newton-Raphson method is not feasible. In this paper, particle swarm optimization algorithm is presented to find optimum switching angles of PWM waveform in multilevel converters. These angles must be determined so that the desired fundamental harmonic is maintained and at the same time undesired higher order harmonics are suppressed. Theoretical and simulation results for an eleven-level converter show the efficiency of the proposed algorithm to determine the optimum angles in order to decrease the undesired harmonics and produce very high quality output voltage waveform.