Power Electronics

Engineered Gate Oxides for Wide Band Gap Semiconductor MOSFETS

This project focuses on systematically investigating the role of gate-oxide growth parameters and interfacial structure on metal-oxide-semiconductor performance. This would minimize bulk defects, ensure chemical compatibility, and develop an interfacial structure consistent with reliable high-power device performance. The success of this effort will enable increased reliability and performance of wide band gap metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) for complimentary enhancement-mode devices for use in high-power high-temperature applications with a specific focus on end-use for the electric grid.

Enhanced Controller Design and Validation

This project focuses on research and demonstration of laboratory scale models of energy storage plus power electronics in microgrid applications. The goal is to study advanced control and responses during dynamic disturbances. Key contributions expected are an understanding of inverter responses during microgrid disturbances; the use of energy storage in microgrids; and a laboratory/prototype scale demonstration.

Flexible Alternating Current Transmission System (FACTS) Advanced Control Algorithms

This project is focused on the development of power electronics controllers integrated with a vanadium redox battery (VRB). Specifically, this project will develop an electrical model for the VRB, validate the model in experiment, integrate the VRB model in the Unified Power Quality Conditioner (UPQC) in simulation, analyze the performance of the UPQC-VRB in quality enhancement and energy management, and compare performance.

High Temperature Controllers

This project focuses on the design and development of a high temperature controller which interfaces the High-Temperature Silicon-On-Insulator (HT SOI) based controller to Silicon-Carbide (SiC) power switches. The high temperature controller creates the basic building block for power conversion systems used in energy storage systems and renewable energy, motor controllers, and a host of industrial control applications.

Power Electronics Reliability

Project team will perform electrical characterization and stress testing of a variety of semiconductor devices to understand failure mechanisms for purposes of increasing reliability. In situ sensors and associated hardware and software will be developed to be able to monitor signs of device degradation for purposes of prognostics and health management (PHM). Basic scientific results will be published in appropriate forums.

Power Electronics Research by Summer Interns

The summer students will be paired with a mentor who will guide the work over the course of the summer. The students will focus on the design and control of energy storage systems to smooth out intermittency effects of renewable energy and to develop transfer functions of power conversion systems from the AC power to the DC power of the energy storage system.