PROJECT TITLE: Medium Voltage Converter based on SiC (MV-BASIC)
PhD period: 2018.08.01 - 2021.07.31.
Section: Power Electronic Systems
Research Programme: Electronic Power Grid (eGrid)
Supervisor: Stig Munk-Nielsen
Co-Supervisors: Christian Uhrenfeldt, Szymon Bęczkowski and Michael Møller Bech
Funding: Scholarship from Department of Energy Technology, AAU.
Energy efficiency and savings are pervasive terms in today’s world. Even with improved energy efficiency, the demand for electricity is expected to grow at much faster rate compared to other energy vectors due to electrification of energy uses. Amongst which, electrical drive systems hold the single largest share in electrical end-use which accounts for approximately 40 % - 50 % of global electricity consumption and adoption of the power electronic converter for control of electrical energy in such electrical drive systems continue to increase. The high-power medium voltage drive (MVD) systems are of great interest in achieving higher energy efficiency due to their enormous energy consumption. Till date commercial high power MVDs are utilizing the silicon (Si) based power semiconductor devices which are approaching their theoretical limits of performance. Moreover, limitation of the modern Si power semiconductor devices in terms of their blocking voltage capability requires relatively complex power converter topologies to meet the motor output voltage and power quality requirements. Recently, the newly emerging medium voltage (MV) Wide Band Gap (WBG) power semiconductor devices are gaining increasing attention due to their superior performance characteristics compared to prevalent Si based power semiconductor devices. In its present state the large-scale commercialization of this technology is constricted due to its lower market volume, higher production cost, scarce on-field reliability statistics as well as limited knowhow of dealing with engineering challenges in packaging and designing power electronics converters, however the trend is expected to shift with higher economies of scale and increasing adoption of these devices in industries.
The PhD project aims at demonstrating medium voltage power conversion with relatively simpler topology, lower control complexity together with efficiency and power density improvements by means of utilizing SiC power semiconductor devices and advanced packaging technologies. The power electronic converter enabled by MV 10 kV SiC MOSFET technology will be designed, built and tested in the medium voltage laboratory at Aalborg University. The project will assess the key benefits and overcome scientific challenges pertaining to MV SiC devices, which may help to accelerate commercialization and adoption of this technology in practical applications.
Publications in journals and conference papers may be found at VBN.