Scientific Collaborations and Activities of C-PED Researchers

The Center for Power Electronics and Drives (C-PED) is of very recent institution. The core founder members are from the Institutions University of Roma Tre – Italy and the University of Rome Tor Vergata – Italy. The C-PED is open to affiliations of members from different national and international Institutions.

The Centre is intended to be an internationally recognized provider of world-leading, underpinning power electronics and drives research, combining high level academic talent in the international context. Its activities focus on sustaining and growing power electronics and drives innovation by delivering transformative and exploitable new technologies, highly skilled people and by providing long-term strategic value to the industry in the field.

The past 5-years carried out research activities and industrial collaborations by the researchers of the two Institutions co-founders of the C-PED is a good example of what will be done by the Center in the near future. In the following the most significant researches of the past 5-years are briefly described.

 Research Activity on 3.3kV Active NPC Inverters for Railways Applications (2019-2020)

Funded by CITRACC, Construcciones Instalación y Tracción, S.A.U. (Spain)

The project scope is the development of the control structure for a Dual Active NPC inverters for energy recovery in railways applications operating at 3.3 kV

 Research Activity on the Motor Drive 1.4 for Medium Voltage Breaker (BPWR) (2017-2019)

Funded by ABB PPHV Adda

Power converter design and control software development for motorized medium voltage breaker.

Research Activity on Power Electronics converters for Generating Units based of Stirling Engine (2018-2019)

Funded by E.D. Elettronica Dedicata Srl

Power converter design and control software development for variable speed gen-set. Complete integration and management of both system and Stirling engine.

labviewtoolchain

Research activity: NI tool chain for Power Electronics and Drives Applications (2017-2020)

Funded by National Instruments Corporation (TX, USA)

The project scope is to explore the possibility to use the LabVIEW based graphical tool chain in the development of control structures for power electronics and drives applications.

Research Activity on industrial control systems based on National Instruments sbRIO-9651 (2017-2019)

Funded by E.D. Elettronica Dedicata Srl

Development of an industrial control system for on-line production test. Core techonoly is the System on Module device manufactured by National Instruments

Research activity: Dual Active NPC Inverters for Energy Recovery (2017-2018)

Funded by CITRACC, Construcciones Instalación y Tracción, S.A.U. (Spain)

The project scope is the development of the control structure for a 2 x 500kW Active NPC inverters for energy recovery in railways applications.

Research activity: 5-Level E Type 3-Phase Power Conversion System for UPS Applications (2017-2018)

Funded by HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES Duesseldorf GmbH (Germany)

The project scope is to investigate novel concepts for New Generation UPS converters. The work should be focused on “A Novel 5-Level E-Type 3-Phase Power Converter for UPS Applications”. The project background is prior art research work has been already conducted at C-PED. These new systems must be able to ensure high-energy efficiency by reducing reactive power consumption and components losses, reliability, power density. Finally, it has to satisfy the requirements of fault-tolerance, meaning that it must operate in abnormal conditions with reduced degradation of the overall performance.

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Full SiC Inverter

Research activity: SiC Devices equipped Inverter Topologies for Electric Motor Drives (2017-2019)

Funded by Infineon Technologies AG (Austria)

The project provides financial support for a three-year PhD scholarship. The planned activities mainly relate to the investigation of benefits and drawbacks of using SiC devices in inverter topologies for electric drives. A second topic of the project deals with the comparison between the 2-level topology with SiC MOSFET and multi-level topologies (NPC and T-Type) with either Si or hybrid devices’ technologies; the required characteristics of the passive components in the topologies under comparison are to be investigated in detail.

fotosito

Research activity: Passive and Active Reduction of Switching Overvoltage in SiC Equipped Industrial Drives (2016-2017)

Funded by ECPE Engineering Center for Power Electronics GmbH (Germany)

The proposed project investigates and compares some of the more interesting solutions, already present in recent literature, for reduction of the switching overvoltage in SiC equipped industrial drives. The comparison is carried out mainly through theoretical investigation and modeling of the configurations and it gives, as outputs, information concerning the actual overvoltage reduction, the efficiency, the overall dimensions. On the basis of the comparison still in progress, the two most promising solutions are designed and two prototypes are constructed as proof of concept with the target of few kW as power rating.

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PED-Board
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PED-Board Mini

Research activity: PED-Board® ecosystem (2015-…)

Funded by E.D. Elettronica Dedicata Srl

PED-Board project started in 2015 having the goal in the design and production of a power electronics and drives (PED) dedicated control board being able to be used in a wide variety of PED applications. This has been accomplished thanks to the unique feature on the PED-Board and its specific Adapter Board concept, as well as the full software support. PED-Board ecosystem just started, new Adapter Boards and new PED-Boards will be released.

PED-Board is based on the National Instruments sbRIO-9651, allowing to develop the desired algorithm by the LabVIEW graphical programming approach. It results is an efficient and simple control system to be used in Power Electronics and Drives applications.

www.ped-board.com

tas_utv

Research project with Thales Alenia Space Italy – Design of Electrical Power Module for Microsatellites (2012-2017)

Funded by the EU and Regione Lazio

 A complete design flow for an innovative Electrical Power Module for space applications has been performed. In particular the following activities has been provided: support for the specifications definition, choice of most appropriate structure of the power electronic converters, control algorithm design, innovative Maximum Power Point Tracking applied to multiple solar arrays, electrical schematics and PCB design, control implementation on FPGA Xilinx Virtex5, debug and testing of an experimental prototype.

teletecnica_ups_utv

Research Activity: Design and prototyping of UPS and Active Rectifiers with PFC (2011-2017)

Funded by Teletecnica Srl

Main collaborations have been focused on the full design and pre-industrial prototyping of single-phase and three-phase online UPS line card, up to 30 kVA with paralleling capabilities, and on a pre-production line of three-phase SiC based active rectifiers, with PFC capabilities. Custom electronic control boards, with CAN communication features and control algorithms, have been designed and implemented on both fixed-point and floating-point Texas Instruments DSPs belonging to the C2000 family.

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Research activity: Research Activity on the Motor Drive 1.4 Capacitor Charger (BCHRG) (2016-2017)

Funded by ABB PPHV Adda

The project is addressed to the design and testing of the power electronic converter devoted to charge a bank of capacitors which in turn is used for feeding the electrical drive responsible for open and close operations in high-voltage switches (HVCB). The capacitor bank, with a capacity of 30mF, must be loaded into 120s at 250W. The value of this capacitors’ voltage must be equal to 860V and, during operations of the HVCB device, it can drop to 400V; the input voltage of the equipment under study belongs to a very large operating range both in direct current and in alternating current (40Vdc-280Vdc, 114Vac-242Vac). The conceived topology is a two stage configuration with electrical isolation and it is able to both step down and step up the converter output voltage compared to the input voltage. The prototype overall dimensions are 200mm x 100mm x 50mm and its manufacturing is in progress.

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3-ph 4-leg VSI
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Near-Zero output voltage THD

Joint project with The University of Nottingham: development of high performance control algorithm for 4-leg inverters in off-grid applications (2014-…)

Proposed activity was focused on the development of high performance combined control structures for inverters operating in 3-ph plus neutral off-grid applications. Typical control algorithms such as multi-resonant controllers, repetitive control and dead-beat control have their own characteristic, which are very often not able to fulfill the standard requirements in terms of load step dynamic response and THD. However, combined actions were proposed and compared, analyzing the system stability and implementation on both DSP and FPGA targets.

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Joint project with INFN-CERN – The NA62 Experiment Design of the Veto Trigger System for LKr Calorimeter (2012-2017)

Funded by the Italian Ministry of Research and Education

The NA62 experiment aims to measure the branching ratio of the rare k+ decay at the CERN SPS. Since a high-intensity kaon beam is required to collect enough statistics, the L0 trigger plays a fundamental role in both the background rejection and in the particle identification. For this reason, a complex Trigger and Data Acquisition (TDAQ) system has been designed. The whole Calorimeter trigger system is composed of 37 TEL62 boards, 185 mezzanine cards and 221 high-performance FPGAs and each of them is controlled by an on-board PC with fast Ethernet connection.

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5L T-RECT converter
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Joint project with Prof. Dr. P. Grbovic (Huawei Energy Competence Center Europe, Huawei Technologies Dusseldorf GmbH): high efficiency multilevel rectifiers for aircraft and turbine generating applications (2014-2016)

Multi-level power electronic topologies are being proposed in the recent technical literature for use in power generating units. Especially when the reduction of the power filter overall dimensions and the lowering of current and voltage waveform ripple and total harmonic distortion are considered of primary importance. This is the case of high speed gen-set units, where recent design techniques on high rotational speed permanent magnet synchronous generators have significantly reduced the inductance even for industrial voltage rated applications. Research activity deals with a newly conceived five-level unidirectional T-rectifier. The proposed topology is at first theoretically investigated and then losses analysis is achieved with reference to an IGBT phase leg module which has been manufactured on purpose. Prototype realization has been used to perform the required experimental tests.

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Uniflex

Joint Research with The University of Nottingham (UK)Advanced Power Converters for Universal and Flexible Power Management in Future Electricity Network (2007-…)

The research context is related to Smart Grid and, in particular, to Solid-State Transformers and Active Nodes for Medium Voltage Power Grids. The research has been focused on the design and the implementation of different control strategies able to manage the power flow amongst two different 3.3 kV Medium Voltages distribution lines. High performance control strategies, such as Dead-beat, Model Predictive and Modulated Model Predictive have been proposed and evaluated over last years. Such advanced techniques allows the converter a high grade of robustness versus the most common grid disturbances (Voltage unbalances, frequency excursions, harmonics, phase jumps) In addition, specific modulation strategies for seven-level cascaded H-bridge converters have been designed. The validation of the control strategies has been performed on 300kVA back-to-back seven-level cascaded H-bridge converter, controlled by a TI DSP C6000 connected to 5 Actmel FPGA boards.

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Research activity: An Independent Inverter and Control Section for 30 kW High Efficiency Power Converter Solution for a Transformerless PV Inverter (2011)

Funded by Carlo Gavazzi Logistics SpA

The research was aimed at the design, simulation and prototyping of a DC / AC converter for PV applications with high efficiency and grid connection without transformer. The converter is formed by an inlet section called “booster” (DC / DC) and an output section called “inverter” (DC / AC). The booster is designed in order to transfer the maximum power from the photovoltaic panels within a wide operating spectrum of the radiance. The output section of the three-phase inverter is interfaced with the 400V 50Hz electrical grid without a transformer. The inverter is accomplished through the NPC multilevel topology, with switching frequencies up to 20kHz so as to minimize losses and the size of the reactive devices and, at the same time, to obtain low harmonic distortion. Particular emphasis was given to the design of magnetic devices with innovative solutions to optimize cost, size and weight. In both the converter sections the use of electrolytic capacitors is avoided.

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Research activity: Turboexpander Coupled Electric Drives for Energy Recovering in Automotive Applications (2010-2012)

Funded by the Italian Ministry of Research and Education

The research project was part of the Project of National Interest being awarded to a team of four Italian Universities and led by the researchers of Roma Tre University. The general project was devoted to investigate, design, modeling, construction and experimental characterization of direct driven novel electric drives.

The specific research project of Roma Tre University was devoted to the investigation of energy recovering in automotive applications by means of a turboexpander driven electric drive. In the proposed application, a permanent magnet machine electric drive having power rating of 4kW is directly coupled to a turboexpander shaft in order to recover the kinetic energy being available in the exhausts of an internal combustion engine (ICE). Hence the electric drive is used in the regenerative mode of operation in order to provide supply to vehicle on-board electric and electronics loads as well to the auxiliaries (e.g. electronic ignition) of the ICE. The researchers have designed and experimentally tested an electrical drive for the speed range of 12000 – 18000 rev/min, formed of a permanent magnet synchronous machine having 1.2kHz as fundamental frequency and a 3 phase 3-level converter devoted to high frequency and low voltage modes of operation. Also the control algorithm of the system has been conceived and implemented.

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