Levelized-Cost-of-Electricity-Driven Design Optimization for Medium-Voltage Transformerless Photovoltaic Converters

Gabsu Seo, Satyaki Mukherjee, Kyle Goodrick, Rahul Mallik, Branko Majmunovic, Soham Dutta, Dragan Maksimovic, Brian Johnson, Jinia Roy

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


Design approaches for power electronics are typically focused on efficiency and power density; however, these strategies do not guarantee cost optimality in any well-defined sense. To overcome this shortcoming, we propose a design framework that yields circuit parameters that minimize the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of a generation system. LCOE serves as a meaningful metric since it captures total lifetime costs - including hardware, balance of system, and maintenance costs - and includes the impacts of power conversion efficiency and revenue from harvested energy. To obtain a tractable design problem, we formulate an approximate LCOE improvement model that quantifies the changes in LCOE resulting from a candidate converter design. We apply this framework to a multilevel cascaded topology for low-voltage dc to medium-voltage ac conversion without line-frequency transformers. An example 200 kW commercial-scale system is studied and the solution yields a design with 15 cascaded stages, 98.01% efficiency, and an LCOE reduction of 2.0%.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Sep 2019
Event11th Annual IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition, ECCE 2019 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: 29 Sep 20193 Oct 2019


Conference11th Annual IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition, ECCE 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5D00-74141 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-75852


  • Design optimization
  • Levelized cost of electricity
  • Multilevel converters


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