Power Electronics: a key enabling technology for a sustainable world

April 4, 2016 - 15:30 - 17:00
Carlo Cecati, University of L’Aquila, Italy
Room 2020 / 2030, Fred Kaiser Building
2332 Main Mall, UBC | Directions  here
refreshments available at 3:15, talk begins at 3:30pm

Power Electronics is a key enabling technology in the development of new applications and technologies in most important areas: energy, transportation, industry, and consumer electronics, as well as in many other, less well-known areas. Whatever the power level, present and upcoming power electronics converters are often complex systems that combine many distinct hardware and software subsystems. There are many demanding tasks to be fulfilled in a power electronics converter, but all of them share three basic requirements: that they optimize the energy conversion process (the main function), and that they contribute to flexibility and keep costs low.”

The first requirement can be met by choosing a suitable topology, or conversion scheme. In this respect, using DC seems to be the most effective way to deal with electric energy. Examples of DC systems will be given for different power levels and application fields. AC systems seem to be devoted primarily to electromechanical energy conversion. Traditional single-phase power systems seem to be potentially replaceable with DC systems in most practical cases. In fact, dedicated inverters now commonly supply AC actuators, resulting in higher efficiency systems. DC is also being considered in electricity distribution: both renewable energy and storage systems are basically DC sources; moreover, the use of DC ensures reduced losses in lines. But the main reason for the anticipated change is the penetration of electric transportation, which obliges a profound rethink of electric production, distribution and transmission systems.  This seminar addresses these topics in some detail, and discusses some recent trends in the design of power converters.

Carlo Cecati (IEEE Fellow) is a Full Professor of Converters, Electrical Machines and Drives with the University of L'Aquila, Italy and, since 2015, a Distinguished Professor (1000 Talents Program, High Level Foreign Expert) with Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China. His research activity deals with the application of power electronics to renewable energy systems, distributed generation, smart grids, electrical drives, electric vehicles and other applications, with an emphasis on modeling, control, modulation techniques, fault diagnosis. Carlo Cecati received the 2012 and 2013 IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics Best Paper Award, and the 2012 IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine Best Paper Award. From 2013 to 2015 he has been the Editor in Chief of IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics.

The ECE Colloquium brings distinguished international research specialists to our campus to speak about their work. Each year our faculty members invite speakers who are leaders in fields that are of particular importance to the work currenty taking place at ECE.

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