The rapid evolution of power electronic solutions in all around the globe brings a common problem, which is the adoption of nonlinear loads. This fact carries out a strong impact over the quality of power systems and consequently on energy efficiency, since nonlinear loads act as sources of harmonic currents that flow to other loads or even sources, causing non-optimal performance in their operation. Nowadays, conventional transformers are limited to just manage (increase or decrease) voltage level, but they are not able to deal with power quality events, such as harmonics, sag, swell, among others. Hence, there is a need to incorporate a versatile smart device to deal with the challenges previously described for a smart grid environment. This chapter introduces a solid-state transformer (SST) with topology of multilevel cascade H bridge converter as a solution. SST is an emerging technology that has the advantages of low volume, low weight, fault isolation, and other management features. Within its fundamental operation, this chapter presents a detailed description of a SST system comprising communication and control, highlighting their main advantages in comparison with conventional transformer such as mitigation of waveform harmonic distortion, allowance of integration of distributed generation, and bi-directional power flow.
Part of the book: Research Trends and Challenges in Smart Grids