SiC Power Converters-based Grid Infrastructure: Technologies, Challenges, and Grid Applications

Organizer: Akanksha Singh, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, USA

The adoption of medium voltage (MV) SiC-based power electronics in the electric power grid would provide an important tool for ongoing efforts in grid modernization. The potential range of directly-connected MV power electronic converters for the future power grid infrastructure includes but is not limited to: MV to low-voltage conversion; AC to DC conversion to easily integrate inherently DC systems such as photovoltaics, battery systems, etc.; and MV to MV back-to-back converters which allow full asynchronous power flow control between intertied distribution systems. With the increasing commercial availability of high-quality and reliable SiC devices that can operate at voltages relevant to MV distribution utility applications, it is critical to develop a technical pathway for such applications to ensure the successful, widespread use of high-voltage SiC devices (3.3kV, 6.5kV, 10kV devices) and modules. This special session will focus on – a) capabilities and challenges enabled by the high-voltage SiC devices, b) the latest research progress and industry practice on design, development, and validation of high-voltage SiC devices, power modules, and power converters, and c) additional grid services and applications that can be realized using such power electronic converters, in advancing the power grid infrastructure.

Short Bio of Organizer: 

Dr. Akanksha Singh, a Senior Member in IEEE, is a Researcher in the Power Systems Engineering Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). She received the B.E. degree from Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (formerly BESU), India in 2010. She worked from 2010 to 2012 as an Electrical Engineer, Research and Development in ESAB India Limited. She received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA, in 2017. Her research interests include the design and development of wide bandgap based power converters and the associated controls for widespread deployment of distributed energy resources and integration of renewable energy to the power grid. She also serves as Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Applications and IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Industrial Electronics.

Speakers and presentations:

  1. Subhashish Bhattacharya, Professor, North Carolina State University, USA
    Capabilities and challenges in using medium voltage (MV) SiC devices in advancing the grid infrastructure
  1. Jin Wang, Professor, Ohio State University, USA
    Challenges and future of the direct MV grid connected power onverters for asynchronous power flow
  1. Barry Mather, Group Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA
    Grid applications and grid services enabled by MV direct connected power converters for proliferation and extensive renewable energy
  1. Fred Wang, Professor, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
    MV SiC Based Power Conditioning Systems for Microgrids, Flexible CHP and Manufacturing Plants
  1. Sheldon Williamson, Professor, Ontario Tech University, Canada
    Potential and challenges of using SiC devices in the integration of the electric charging infrastructure to the power grid
  1. Robson Bauwelz Gonzatti, Rami Yehia, Dr. Fang Z. Peng, Florida State University, USA
    Switch-Capacitor Modular Multilevel Converter (SC-MMC) to Achieve Inductor-less, Filter-less, and Transformer-less Medium-Voltage Power Conversion for High Power Density Applications