Abstract: A combination of series, parallel and multilevel power electronics has been investigated as a potential interface for two different types of renewable energy sources and in order to reach higher power levels. Renewable energy sources are typically dispersed in a territory, and sources, like wind and solar, allow small to medium-scale generation of electricity. The configuration investigated in this article aims at adapting the coupling solution to the specific generation characteristics of the renewable energy source to make it fit the electrical network. The configuration consists of a combination of three-phase multilevel converters and single-phase inverters, which are designed to provide flexibility, high power quality and high efficiency. A detailed analysis and simulation is performed to identify the properties in conjunction with the electrical grid requirements and the potential challenges encountered during operation. An optimized operation example of wind generation combined with solar PV generation is presented to exemplify the flexibility and benefits of the proposed configuration.
Abstract: In this work, we propose a wideband multi-section transforming coupled-line balun using near equal length transmission line elements. The resulting design is realized by cascading several coupled-lines with minimal discontinuities. The multi-section Chebyshev matching optimizes bandwidth at the expense of passband ripple. The proposed design delivers good impedance matching and consistent 180° phase shift over 0.8–8 GHz frequency spectrum. Furthermore, the need for vias in conventional balun designs is relaxed by replacing the short-circuited (SC) terminal by its equivalent dual open-circuited (OC) element. The proposed design is simulated, fabricated, and measured. Both simulated and measured results are in a good agreement, and show an input port matching of below −9.7 dB over the design bandwidth, with a maximum phase and amplitude imbalance of 2.1° and 0.9 dB, respectively.
Abstract: This work reports fabrication details of heterojunction diodes and solar cells obtained by sputter deposition of amorphous GaAs on p-doped single crystalline Si. The effects of two additional process steps were investigated: A hydrofluoric acid (HF) etching treatment of the Si substrate prior to the GaAs sputter deposition and a subsequent annealing treatment of the complete layered system. A transmission electron microscopy (TEM) exploration of the interface reveals the formation of a few nanometer thick SiO2 interface layer and some crystallinity degree of the GaAs layer close to the interface. It was shown that an additional HF etching treatment of the Si substrate improves the short circuit current and degrades the open circuit voltage of the solar cells. Furthermore, an additional thermal annealing step was performed on some selected samples before and after the deposition of an indium tin oxide (ITO) film on top of the a-GaAs layer. It was found that the occurrence of surface related defects is reduced in case of a heat treatment performed after the deposition of the ITO layer, which also results in a reduction of the dark saturation current density and resistive losses.
Abstract: Dual active bridge (DAB) converters have been popular in high voltage, low and medium power DC-DC applications, as well as an intermediate high frequency link in solid state transformers. In this paper, a multilevel DAB (ML-DAB) has been proposed in which two active bridges produce two-level (2L)-5L, 5L-2L and 3L-5L voltage waveforms across the high frequency transformer. The proposed ML-DAB has the advantage of being used in high step-up/down converters, which deal with higher voltages, as compared to conventional two-level DABs. A three-level neutral point diode clamped (NPC) topology has been used in the high voltage bridge, which enables the semiconductor switches to be operated within a higher voltage range without the need for cascaded bridges or multiple two-level DAB converters. A symmetric modulation scheme, based on the least number of angular parameters rather than the duty-ratio, has been proposed for a different combination of bridge voltages. This ML-DAB is also suitable for maximum power point tracking (MPPT) control in photovoltaic applications. Steady-state analysis of the converter with symmetric phase-shift modulation is presented and verified using simulation and hardware experiments.
Abstract: We propose the data mining-informed cognitive radio, which uses non-traditional data sources and data-mining techniques for decision making and improving the performance of a wireless network. To date, the application of information other than wireless channel data in cognitive radios has not been significantly studied. We use a novel dataset (Twitter traffic) as an indicator of network load in a wireless channel. Using this dataset, we present and test a series of predictive algorithms that show an improvement in wireless channel utilization over traditional collision-detection algorithms. Our results demonstrate the viability of using these novel datasets to inform and create more efficient cognitive radio networks.
Abstract: The authors present a large area collision detection sensor utilizing the piezoelectric effect of polyvinylidene fluoride film. The proposed sensor system provides high dynamic range for touch sensation, as well as robust adaptability to achieve collision detection on complex-shaped surfaces. The design allows for cohabitation of humans and robots in cooperative environments that require advanced and robust collision detection systems. Data presented in the paper are from sensors successfully retrofitted onto an existing commercial robotic manipulator.