Power electronics architectures are trending increasingly towards modular multi-converter structures that facilitate plug-and-play operation while enhancing reliability and efficiency. Generally speaking, this could take the form of parallel-connected systems that promote current sharing or series-connected systems that enable operation at elevated voltages. Our group formulates high-performance solutions for parallel-connected converters in computational applications, point-of-load setups, as well as microgrids. Innovations in series-connected configurations facilitate medium-voltage energy conversion for batteries, photovoltaics, and solid-state transformer applications.
Modern energy resources, such as photovoltaics, batteries, wind, and electric vehicles are interfaced to the grid through power electronics. These interfaces are fundamentally distinct from conventional synchronous generators in that they do not contain moving parts and their dynamics are shaped with digital controls. As generation shifts from large rotating machines to collections of electronic interfaces dispersed across the grid, system dynamics will accelerate under reduced inertia and system structures will become increasingly decentralized. Our group is reimagining the way grids are built and stands at the forefront of grid-forming inverter technologies that enable scalable and resilient power systems. UW is also a co-lead of the UNIFI Consortium.
Electromechanical drive systems for vehicles and modern variable speed mechanical systems entail complex multiphysics phenomena that span across the mechanical, electromagnetic, electrical, and control domains. Untangling this interplay of dynamical systems and unlocking high-performance solutions requires breakthroughs in the realms of modeling, design, and experimentation. On the analytical front, we are leveraging the universality of energy to formulate equivalent circuit models that reveal the operation of closed-loop drive systems in a lucid and visually intuitive manner. These approaches facilitate new design methodologies which are validated on custom-designed SiC-based drive circuits and high power density axial flux machines.