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Special Issue "High-Efficiency and High-Performance Power Electronics for Power Grids and Electrical Drives"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A1: Smart Grids and Microgrids".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 10255

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Massimiliano Luna
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Ingegneria del Mare, Via Ugo La Malfa, 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy
Interests: power electronics and electrical drives; FPGA and embedded systems; energy management systems; smart micro/nanogrids; photovoltaics; wind energy conversion systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Power electronics has radically transformed the way we condition electrical energy in both stationary and non-stationary applications. Over the years, we have witnessed a significant increase of power converter ratings and of the associated losses. However, the urge for a sustainable future requires further efficiency increase by either reducing losses or improving the performance under the same level of consumption.

In this regard, the use of wide bandgap power devices and multilevel/multiphase power converters should be fostered. Also, advanced converter topologies can process only a lower percentage of load power, down to the limit of differential power. As for the electrical drives, ELMT can reduce losses keeping the same load power, whereas MTPA techniques can reduce the current needed to obtain a given load torque level. Power electronics is also crucial to implement efficient demand response and power flow management, especially in micro/nanogrids, which are progressively shifting from AC to DC distribution. Other interesting and efficient devices are smart transformers.

Building on these premises, this Special Issue will address converter topologies and control techniques aimed at improving efficiency and performance of power electronics applications in power grids and electrical drives. Topics of interest for publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced power converter topologies
  • Power converters with very high voltage gain
  • Wide bandgap devices and drivers
  • Advanced control and modulation strategies for power converters and electrical drives
  • Model Predictive Control
  • Electrical Loss Minimization Techniques (ELMT)
  • Maximum Torque Per Ampere (MTPA) techniques
  • Power electronics for DC distribution
  • Smart microgrids/nanogrids
  • Smart transformers
  • Efficient converters for Energy Storage Systems

Dr. Massimiliano Luna
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Efficiency increase
  • High-performance control and modulation techniques
  • Advanced power electronic converters
  • Wide bandgap devices
  • Power grids
  • Microgrids, nanogrids
  • Electrical drives for e-mobility and industry applications
  • Renewable Energy Sources
  • Energy Storage Systems.

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
High-Efficiency and High-Performance Power Electronics for Power Grids and Electrical Drives
Energies 2022, 15(16), 5844; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15165844 - 11 Aug 2022
Viewed by 284
Abstract
Since the invention of the light bulb by T [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
A Bidirectional Grid-Connected DC–AC Converter for Autonomous and Intelligent Electricity Storage in the Residential Sector
Energies 2022, 15(3), 1194; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15031194 - 07 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 824
Abstract
Controlling the cost of electricity consumption remains a major concern, particularly in the residential sector. Smart home electricity management systems (HEMS) are becoming increasingly popular for providing uninterrupted power and improved power quality, as well as for reducing the cost of electricity consumption. [...] Read more.
Controlling the cost of electricity consumption remains a major concern, particularly in the residential sector. Smart home electricity management systems (HEMS) are becoming increasingly popular for providing uninterrupted power and improved power quality, as well as for reducing the cost of electricity consumption. When power transfer is required between a storage system and the AC grid, and vice versa, these HEMS require the use of a bidirectional DC–AC converter. This paper emphasizes the potential value of an almost unexplored topology, the design of which was based on the generation of sinusoidal signals from sinusoidal half waves. A DC–DC stage, which behaved as a configurable voltage source, was in series with a DC–AC stage, i.e., an H-bridge, to achieve an architecture that could operate in both grid and off-grid configurations. Wide bandgap power switches (silicon carbide metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors [MOSFETs]), combined with appropriate control strategies, were the keys to increasing compactness of the converter while ensuring good performance, especially in terms of efficiency. The converter was configured to automatically change the operating mode, i.e., inverter or rectifier in power factor correction mode, according to an instruction issued by the HEMS; the latter being integrated in the control circuit with automatic duty cycle management. Therefore, the HEMS set the amount of energy to be injected into the grid or to be stored. The experimental results validate the operating modes of the proposed converter and demonstrate the relevance of such a topology when combined with an HEMS, especially in the case of an AC grid connection. The efficiency measurements of the bidirectional DC–AC converter, performed in grid-connected inverter mode, show that we exceeded the efficiency target of 95% over the entire output power range studied, i.e., from 100 W to 1.5 kW. Full article
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Article
High-Performance Power Converter for Charging Electric Vehicles
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8569; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248569 - 19 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
This paper presents the analysis, modeling, simulation and practical studies of resonant inverters with a voltage limitation on the resonant capacitor. The power circuits obtained in this way are characterized by the fact that the power consumption does not depend on the load [...] Read more.
This paper presents the analysis, modeling, simulation and practical studies of resonant inverters with a voltage limitation on the resonant capacitor. The power circuits obtained in this way are characterized by the fact that the power consumption does not depend on the load changes, but is a function of the operating frequency, the value of the resonant capacitor and the supply voltage—these are the so-called inverters with energy dosing. Analytical dependences, simulations and experimental results were determined, which described the behavior of the studied power electronic devices. The obtained expressions for the inverter current in the different stages of the converter operation were the basis for the creation of the engineering methodology for their design and prototyping. Based on the derived basic ratios and characteristics, the capabilities of these devices for self-adaptation to the needs and changes of the load were demonstrated. A comparison of the characteristics of classical resonant inverters and those with energy dosing was made, thus demonstrating their qualities and advantages. The presented results display the properties of this class of circuits and the challenges to their effective application to find the optimal solution for the implementation of charging stations for different specific needs. On the other hand, the limitations in the use of these circuits were that no power was consumed from the power supply during the whole period, the lack of limitation of the maximum current through the transistors and the need for sufficient time to dissipate energy in the resonant inductor when working with high-resistance and low-power loads. Full article
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Article
Modeling and Performance Assessment of the Split-Pi Used as a Storage Converter in All the Possible DC Microgrid Scenarios. Part II: Simulation and Experimental Results
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5616; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185616 - 07 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 627
Abstract
Bidirectional DC/DC converters such as the Split-pi can be used to integrate an energy storage system (ESS) into a DC microgrid providing manifold benefits. However, this integration deserves careful design because the ESS converter must behave like a stiff voltage generator, a non-stiff [...] Read more.
Bidirectional DC/DC converters such as the Split-pi can be used to integrate an energy storage system (ESS) into a DC microgrid providing manifold benefits. However, this integration deserves careful design because the ESS converter must behave like a stiff voltage generator, a non-stiff voltage generator, or a current generator depending on the microgrid configuration. Part I of this work presented a comprehensive theoretical analysis of the Split-pi used as an ESS converter in all the possible DC microgrid scenarios. Five typical microgrid scenarios were identified. Each of them required a specific state-space model of the Split-pi and a suitable control scheme. The present paper completes the study validating the theoretical analysis based on simulations and experimental tests. The chosen case study encompassed a 48 V, 750 W storage system interfaced with a 180 V DC microgrid using a Split-pi converter. It can represent a reduced-power prototype of terrestrial and marine microgrids. A prototypal Split-pi converter was realized in the lab, and several experimental tests were performed to assess the performance in each scenario. The results obtained from the experimental tests were coherent with the simulations and validated the study. Full article
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Article
Modeling and Performance Assessment of the Split-Pi Used as a Storage Converter in All the Possible DC Microgrid Scenarios. Part I: Theoretical Analysis
Energies 2021, 14(16), 4902; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14164902 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 516
Abstract
The integration of an electrical storage system (ESS) into a DC microgrid using a bidirectional DC/DC converter provides substantial benefits but requires careful design. Among such converter topologies, the Split-pi converter presents several merits at the cost of non-isolated operation. However, the few [...] Read more.
The integration of an electrical storage system (ESS) into a DC microgrid using a bidirectional DC/DC converter provides substantial benefits but requires careful design. Among such converter topologies, the Split-pi converter presents several merits at the cost of non-isolated operation. However, the few works in the literature on the Split-pi presented only closed-loop control with a single control loop; furthermore, they neglected the reactive components’ parasitic resistances and did not perform any experimental validation. This work aimed at investigating the use of the Split-pi converter as a power interface between an ESS and a DC microgrid. Five typical microgrid scenarios are presented, where each of which requires a specific state-space model and a suitable control scheme for the converter to obtain high performance. In this study, two different state-space models of the converter that consider the parasitic elements are presented, the control schemes are discussed, and criteria for designing the controllers are also given. Several simulations, as well as experimental tests on a prototype realized in the lab, were performed to validate the study. Both the simulation and experimental results will be presented in part II of this work. The proposed approach has general validity and can also be followed when other bidirectional DC/DC converter topologies are employed to interface an ESS with a DC microgrid. Full article
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Article
Performance Improvement of Grid-Connected Induction Motors through an Auxiliary Winding Set
Energies 2021, 14(8), 2178; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14082178 - 13 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 701
Abstract
A technique to improve the performance of grid-connected induction motors by exploiting an auxiliary winding set is proposed in this paper. This auxiliary winding features the same distribution of the main winding, although with a reduced number of turns and it is fed [...] Read more.
A technique to improve the performance of grid-connected induction motors by exploiting an auxiliary winding set is proposed in this paper. This auxiliary winding features the same distribution of the main winding, although with a reduced number of turns and it is fed by an inverter a fraction of the power in comparison with the rated size of the induction motor. As shown in the paper, through the auxiliary winding, it is possible to set the machine power factor, increasing the efficiency of the power conversion system and mitigating speed oscillations due to torque disturbances. A mitigation of the grid current peaks due to motor start-up is obtainable. First, the proposed technique is theoretically introduced, then a feasibility assessment is accomplished by simulations. Full article
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Article
Multi-Level Multi-Input Converter for Hybrid Renewable Energy Generators
Energies 2021, 14(6), 1764; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14061764 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 771
Abstract
A three-phase multi-level multi-input power converter topology is presented for grid-connected applications. It encompasses a three-phase transformer that is operated on the primary side in an open-end winding configuration. Thus, the primary winding is supplied on one side by a three-phase N-level neutral [...] Read more.
A three-phase multi-level multi-input power converter topology is presented for grid-connected applications. It encompasses a three-phase transformer that is operated on the primary side in an open-end winding configuration. Thus, the primary winding is supplied on one side by a three-phase N-level neutral point clamped inverter and, on the other side, by an auxiliary two-level inverter. A key feature of the proposed approach is that the N-level inverter is able to perform independent management of N − 1 input power sources, thus avoiding the need for additional dc/dc power converters in hybrid multi-source systems. Moreover, it can manage an energy storage system connected to the dc-bus of the two-level inverter. The N-level inverter operates at a low switching frequency and can be equipped with very low on-state voltage drop Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) devices, while the auxiliary inverter is instead operated at low voltage according to a conventional high-frequency two-level Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technique and can be equipped with very low on-state resistance Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor (MOSFET) devices. Simulations and experimental results confirm the effectiveness of the proposed approach and its good performance in terms of grid current harmonic content and overall efficiency. Full article
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Article
Efficiency Comparison of 2-Level SiC Inverter and Soft Switching-Snubber SiC Inverter for Electric Motor Drives
Energies 2021, 14(6), 1690; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14061690 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 869
Abstract
This paper focuses on the investigation and implementation of a high-performance power conversion system to reduce the overvoltage phenomenon in variable speed electric drive applications. Particularly, the pros and cons of using Silicon Carbide power MOSFETs in the power converter when a long [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the investigation and implementation of a high-performance power conversion system to reduce the overvoltage phenomenon in variable speed electric drive applications. Particularly, the pros and cons of using Silicon Carbide power MOSFETs in the power converter when a long power cable is employed in electric motor drive systems has been addressed. The three-phase two level inverter with the addition of snubber circuits that consist of capacitors and diodes has been investigated, designed and tested in order to mitigate the overvoltage problems without sacrificing the conversion efficiency. Given that the snubber circuit added to the switches can increase losses, an additional circuit is used to recover the energy from the snubber circuit. The proposed analysis has been then validated through an experimental campaign performed on the converter prototype. The experimental results show that the proposed converter can reduce the overvoltage at the electric motor terminals with excellent conversion efficiency compared to the classical solution like the three-phase two level inverter. Full article
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Article
High-Performance 3-Phase 5-Level E-Type Multilevel–Multicell Converters for Microgrids
Energies 2021, 14(4), 843; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14040843 - 05 Feb 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1171
Abstract
This paper focuses on the analysis and design of two multilevel–multicell converters (MMCs), named 3-phase 5-Level E-Type Multilevel–Multicell Rectifier (3Φ5L E-Type MMR) and 3-phase 5-Level E-Type Multilevel–Multicell Inverter (3Φ5L E-Type MMI) to be used in microgrid applications. The proposed 3-phase E-Type multilevel rectifier [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the analysis and design of two multilevel–multicell converters (MMCs), named 3-phase 5-Level E-Type Multilevel–Multicell Rectifier (3Φ5L E-Type MMR) and 3-phase 5-Level E-Type Multilevel–Multicell Inverter (3Φ5L E-Type MMI) to be used in microgrid applications. The proposed 3-phase E-Type multilevel rectifier and inverter have each phase being accomplished by the combination of two I-Type topologies connected to the T-Type topology. The two cells of each phase of the rectifier and inverter are connected in interleaving using an intercell transformer (ICT) in order to reduce the volume of the output filter. Such an E-Type topology arrangement is expected to allow both the high efficiency and power density required for microgrid applications, as well as being capable of providing good performance in terms of quality of the voltage and current waveforms. The proposed hardware design and control interface are supported by the simulation results performed in Matlab/Simulink. The analysis has been then validated in terms of an experimental campaign performed on the converter prototype, which presented a power density of 8.4 kW/dm3 and a specific power of 3.24 kW/kg. The experimental results showed that the proposed converter can achieve a peak efficiency of 99% using only silicon power semiconductors. Full article
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Article
Reliability Assessment of Wind-Solar PV Integrated Distribution System Using Electrical Loss Minimization Technique
Energies 2020, 13(21), 5631; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13215631 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
This article presents the Reliability Assessment (RA) of renewable energy interfaced Electrical Distribution System (EDS) considering the electrical loss minimization (ELM). ELM aims at minimizing the detrimental effect of real power and reactive power losses in the EDS. Some techniques, including integration of [...] Read more.
This article presents the Reliability Assessment (RA) of renewable energy interfaced Electrical Distribution System (EDS) considering the electrical loss minimization (ELM). ELM aims at minimizing the detrimental effect of real power and reactive power losses in the EDS. Some techniques, including integration of Renewable Energy Source (RES), network reconfiguration, and expansion planning, have been suggested in the literature for achieving ELM. The optimal RES integration (also referred to as Distributed Generation (DG)) is one of the globally accepted techniques to achieve minimization of electrical losses. Therefore, first, the locations to accommodate these DGs are obtained by implementing two indexes, namely Index-1 for single DG and Index-2 for multiple DGs. Second, a Constriction Factor-based Particle Swarm Optimization (CF-PSO) technique is applied to obtain an optimal sizing(s) of the DGs for achieving the ELM. Third, the RA of the EDS is performed using the optimal location(s) and sizing(s) of the RESs (i.e., Solar photovoltaic (SPV) and Wind Turbine Generator (WTG)). Moreover, a Battery Storage System (BSS) is also incorporated optimally with the RESs to further achieve the ELM and to improve the system’s reliability. The result analysis is performed by considering the power output rating of WTG-GE’s V162-5.6MW (IECS), SPV-Sunpower’s SPR-P5-545-UPP, and BSS-Freqcon’s BESS-3000 (i.e., Battery Energy Storage System 3000), which are provided by the corresponding manufacturers. According to the outcomes of the study, the results are found to be coherent with those obtained using other techniques that are available in the literature. These results are considered for the RA of the EDS. RA is further analyzed considering the uncertainties in reliability data of WTG and SPV, including the failure rate and the repair time. The RA of optimally placed DGs is performed by considering the electrical loss minimization. It is inferred that the reliability of the EDS improves by contemplating suitable reliability data of optimally integrated DGs. Full article
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Article
Impact of Submodule Faults on the Performance of Modular Multilevel Converters
Energies 2020, 13(16), 4089; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13164089 - 06 Aug 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1078
Abstract
Modular multilevel converter (MMC) is well suited for high-power and medium-voltage applications. However, its performance is adversely affected by asymmetry that might be introduced by the failure of a limited number of submodules (SMs) or even by severe deviations in the values of [...] Read more.
Modular multilevel converter (MMC) is well suited for high-power and medium-voltage applications. However, its performance is adversely affected by asymmetry that might be introduced by the failure of a limited number of submodules (SMs) or even by severe deviations in the values of SM capacitors and arm inductors, particularly when the number of SMs per arm is relatively low. Although a safe-failed operation is easily achieved through the incorporation of redundant SMs, the SMs’ faults make MMC arms present unequal impedances, which leads to undesirable internal dynamics because of unequal power distribution between the arms. The severity of these undesirable dynamics varies with the implementation of auxiliary controllers that regulate the MMC internal dynamics. This paper studied the impact of SMs failure on the MMC internal dynamics performance, considering two implementations of internal dynamics control, including a direct control method for suppressing the fundamental component that may arise in the dc-link current. Performances of the presented and widely-appreciated conventional methods for regulating MMC internal dynamics were assessed under normal and SM fault conditions, using detailed time-domain simulations and considering both active and reactive power applications. The effectiveness of control methods is also verified by the experiment. Related trade-offs of the control methods are presented, whereas it is found that the adverse impact of SMs failure on MMC ac and dc side performances could be minimized with appropriate control countermeasures. Full article
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