EPSRC Centre for Power Electronics
University of Nottingham
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Cross Cutting Projects

Operational Management & Control

Professor Paul Mitcheson, Imperial College London

The Operational Management and Control cross-cutting project encompassed both aspects of traditional power converter and drive systems as well as device, module and converter/drive status monitoring, diagnostics and prognostics.

The work on traditional control aspects concentrated on control for high frequency converters, where the amount of internally stored energy is inherently low, requiring higher control loop bandwidth. The work on status monitoring was primarily aimed at modular converter systems, such as large cellular converter structures used in HVDC systems.

The aim for operational management was to improve the availability of power electronics, either through maintenance scheduled with sufficient advance notice through the use of fault diagnosis techniques, the ability to run a degrading system either at full or part capacity using redundancy or controlled performance reduction, or a combination of the two.

Regarding controls, the aim was to develop hardware and algorithms that ensure a power electronic system exhibits the correct input, internal, and output behaviour in real time, as well as the supervisory functions that allow operational management to occur.

 

OMC-1

 

 

OMC-2

 
 

Design, Tools & Modelling

Professor Chris Bailey, University of Greenwich 

This topic drew together work from the main themes and with the aim to develop methodologies and modelling toolsets that would support power electronics design engineers to predict and optimise the physical behaviour, performance, reliability and robustness of power electronic systems in a cost effective manner, significantly reducing the amount of physical prototyping and testing required. 

Power electronics devices, components and systems are normally validated through physical prototyping which is both time consuming and costly. If this process could be supported by accurate models and simulation methods, (virtual prototyping), then the performance and expected reliability can be predicted at an early design stage and the cost for repetitive hardware testing therefore significantly reduced.

The objectives in this cross theme were to: 

Develop and use of multi-domain/physics models that provide close coupling between both the electrical, thermal and mechanical domains.

  • Develop physics of failure models for active and passive components.
  • Develop models for predicting losses
  • Define data formats for accurately representing components (describing both physical and behavioural characteristics).
  • Develop a methodology to extract/obtain compact parameterised behaviour models.
  • Investigate methodologies to undertake fast physical simulations which include cross domain couplings
  • Integrate and demonstrate the use of component models within a multi-objective system level tool for trade-off analysis. 

Lifetime model development: Stress distribution in an uneven solder joint

 

 

Integrated electro-thermal converter modelling
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Structural & Functional Integration

Professor Jon Clare, University of Nottingham

The aim of this topic was to encourage the collaboration between individual themes in technologies associated with Structural and Functional Integration and to promote and ensure sharing of innovative ideas and best practice. 

The structural and functional integration cross-theme project looked at the basic questions of what to integrate (for examples levels of modularity versus highly integrated bespoke solutions) and how to achieve and address integration from the design and implementation viewpoint.


Structural & Functional Integration

 
 

OMC of SiC Power Modules in Press-Pack 

 

Professor Olayiwola Alatise, University of Warwick

The objective of this project was to:

  • Overcome the conflicting requirements of high power density on the one hand and optimal reliability performance on the other using advanced wide bandgap power devices in the most reliable low cast pressure-packaging systems.
  • Apply condition monitoring techniques to SiC devices in press-pack systems for improved operational management of future power converters.

The project brought together expertise from the devices, components and converters themes with finite element analysis linking the device and components theme and operational management and control linking the components and converter themes.


 

Press Pack

 

 

 

Multi‐domain Optimisation and Virtual Prototyping for High‐Density Power Electronics Systems

Professor Xibo Yuan, University of Bristol

This project aimed to devise and develop a multi-domain modelling and design tool based on virtual prototyping approaches to enable co-design and optimization of power-dense and highly-integrated power electronic converters. The project explored the enabling methodologies and model formats behind such a tool and aimed to demonstrate the approach to achieve a geometry/layout optimisation of a representative basic power electronic conversion system. 

MdOVP

 

Compact and efficient off-line LED drivers using 800V lateral IGBTs and chip-on-board assembly

Prof Florin Udrea, University of Cambridge

Driven by rapid consumption of energy efficient LED lighting, the market for AC-DC and DC-DC controllers for LED drivers which require low power high voltage devices is predicted to reach $1.5 billion by 2016 and staggering $4.3B by 2023, creating a requirement for 19 billion power semiconductor units by 2016. Retrofit LED lamps open up the largest opportunity for manufacturers, which is estimated to drive over $2 billion of power semiconductors. This project aimed to design, assemble and demonstrate a fully functional, compact, AC-DC LED driver using for the first time 700V rated lateral Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (LIGBTs) and flip-chip and chip-on-board (COB) packaging techniques.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Next Generation Integrated Drives (NGID)

Prof Barrie Mecrow & Dr Simon Lambert, Newcastle University

In many applications the ability to combine all of the aspects of the drive – the converter, electrical motor and control system – is highly advantageous. An Integrated Drive has a number of benefits; volume/mass reduction over traditional separately constructed systems, reduced electromagnetic radiation, which can cause other equipment to behave improperly, the ability to replace direct online machines with variable speed machines without significantly altering the associated plant, single package installation – reduced installation time/cost, integrated or common cooling reducing hose lengths and chiller sizes and greater flexibility in the machine and drive topologies from greater design synergy. 

Bringing together all four themes from Tranche 1, this project will develop an application targeted prototype drive which demonstrates the forefront of power electronics and drives research. A world leading team of researchers in the fields of electric machines, power converters and system control, all of whom play active roles in the Centre for Power Electronics were brought together to form the core investigative team of this project, enabling a high degree of interdisciplinary co-operation.

 

 

NGID

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

EPSRC Centre for Power Electronics

Email: correspondence@powerelectronics.ac.uk