EE Systems Seminar

Wednesday October 26, 2016 4:00 PM

Extreme Power Density and Efficiency Power Converters for Grid Interfaced Applications—New Circuit Topologies and Control Techniques to Leverage Wide Band Gap Semiconductor Devices

Speaker: Robert Pilawa-Podgurski, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Location: Moore B280

AC/DC and DC/AC power conversion is critical in a number of emerging applications, ranging from solar photovoltaic systems and battery storage systems to high efficiency data centers and electric vehicle charging. This talk will describe new circuit architectures and control methods that our research group developed for the Google/IEEE $1M Little Box Challenge—an international power electronics design competition with the goal to demonstrate the highest power density 2 kW, 400 VDC to 240 VAC DC/AC inverter with stringent thermal and electrical requirements. I will provide background information on some of the key technical challenges associated with grid-interfaced power converters that are critical for a future sustainable energy infrastructure. I will also provide an overview of two key technical breakthroughs that our group has developed in this space: ultra-high efficiency active line frequency filtering and GaN-based multi-level inverter architectures with record power density and efficiency. Finally, I will highlight some future research areas that we are targeting in the area of electric transportation.

Robert Pilawa-Podgurski is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include renewable energy applications, electric transportation, CMOS power management, data center power delivery, and advanced control of power converters. He has received the Google Faculty Research Award, the Richard M. Bass Outstanding Young Power Electronics Engineer Award of the IEEE Power Electronics Society, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award, and the UIUC Dean's Award for Excellence in Research. He received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012.

Series Electrical Engineering Systems Seminar Series

Contact: Katie Pichotta pichotta@caltech.edu