Efficient, High Power Density, Modular Wide Band-gap Based Converters for Medium Voltage Application
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Electrical and Computer Engineering
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Fourth Advisor's Name
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Power converters, wide bandgap devices, medium voltage direct-current
Date of Defense
Recent advances in semiconductor technology have accelerated developments in medium-voltage direct-current (MVDC) power system transmission and distribution. A DC-DC converter is widely considered to be the most important technology for future DC networks. Wide band-gap (WBG) power devices (i.e. Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices) have paved the way for improving the efficiency and power density of power converters by means of higher switching frequencies with lower conduction and switching losses compared to their Silicon (Si) counterparts. However, due to rapid variation of the voltage and current, di/dt and dv/dt, to fully utilize the advantages of the Wide-bandgap semiconductors, more focus is needed to design the printed circuit boards (PCB) in terms of minimizing the parasitic components, which impacts efficiency.
The aim of this dissertation is to study the technical challenges associated with the implementation of WBG devices and propose different power converter topologies for MVDC applications. Ship power system with MVDC distribution is attracting widespread interest due to higher reliability and reduced fuel consumption. Also, since the charging time is a barrier for adopting the electric vehicles, increasing the voltage level of the dc bus to achieve the fast charging is considered to be the most important solution to address this concern. Moreover, raising the voltage level reduces the size and cost of cables in the car. Employing MVDC system in the power grid offers secure, flexible and efficient power flow.
It is shown that to reach optimal performance in terms of low package inductance and high slew rate of switches, designing a PCB with low common source inductance, power loop inductance, and gate-driver loop are essential. Compared with traditional power converters, the proposed circuits can reduce the voltage stress on switches and diodes, as well as the input current ripple. A lower voltage stress allows the designer to employ the switches and diodes with lower on-resistance RDS(ON) and forward voltage drop, respectively. Consequently, more efficient power conversion system can be achieved. Moreover, the proposed converters offer a high voltage gain that helps the power switches with smaller duty-cycle, which leads to lower current and voltage stress across them. To verify the proposed concept and prove the correctness of the theoretical analysis, the laboratory prototype of the converters using WBG devices were implemented. The proposed converters can provide energy conversion with an efficiency of 97% feeding the nominal load, which is 2% more than the efficiency of the-state-of-the-art converters. Besides the efficiency, shrinking the current ripple leads to 50% size reduction of the input filter inductors.
Moradisizkoohi, Hadi, "Efficient, High Power Density, Modular Wide Band-gap Based Converters for Medium Voltage Application" (2020). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4554.
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