Principal Investigator: Dr. Adel Nasiri
There is a shift in the decades-old paradigm of energy generation and distribution. The emerging concept includes new elements such as Distributed Generations (DG), energy storage, DC systems, and power electronics-based systems. The conventional 60Hz transformers cannot meet the flexibility and controllability demanded by this new paradigm. The goal of this project is to develop the concept for an efficient medium voltage Solid State Transformer (SST) to enable smart and reliable Distribution Systems (DS) for grid power. Many researchers have worked on the SST concept. However, this enabling technology did not make a significant penetration into the utility grid due to several drawbacks: low efficiency, low voltage/power capabilities, cost and resilient packaging of enabling high band gap devices, and concerns regarding fault protection.
The objective of this project is to use Medium Voltage (MV) Wide Band Gap (WBG) devices (i.e. SiC switches and diodes) to increase both SST voltage and power so it can be applied at the DS level. In addition, a novel resonance feature has been added to the SST concept to significantly increase its conversion efficiency. This resonant operation along with proper controls enables usage of low cost no-load disconnects or breakers for system fault protection. Detailed analyses of the proposed system will be performed both for the power electronics system design as well as application and integration in a DS.
There is an impending need in future electrical distribution systems for flexible, controllable, compact, and efficient medium voltage transformers. There are many opportunities for commercialization for the proposed system if the efficiency can be increased to 98%-99%. Potential applications include all of the utility distribution systems, microgrids, AC/DC networks, DC data centers, etc.