Towards Reliable Power Electronics - A Perspective from the DC-Link Capacitor Applications


Event Speaker: 

Prof. Huan Wang

Event Location: 

RLE Conference Center, 36-428-462

Event Date/Time: 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 1:00pm

The performance of power electronic converters, especially in terms of efficiency and power density, has been continuously improved by the intensive research and advancement in circuit topologies, control schemes, semiconductors, passive components, and system integration technologies. In recent years, the automotive and aerospace industries have brought stringent reliability constraints on power electronic systems because of safety requirements. The industrial and energy sectors are also following the same trend to more reliable power electronic systems with cost-effective and sustainable solutions.  
In the first part of this talk, the presenter will discuss the challenges and exciting new opportunities in the research on reliability of power electronics. The ongoing paradigm shift in the state-of-the-art research will also be outlined.  In the second part, the presenter will discuss two pieces of work to account for the reliability of capacitors used for DC-link filtering and DC-link energy storage applications.  Specifically, a DC-link module with 20% of energy storage of the conventional capacitor-only DC-link solution will be presented for an AC-DC-DC power conversion system.  The new DC-link solution makes it possible to apply long lifetime capacitors to power electronic converters with comparable cost and size.  Another piece of work is on the DC-link capacitor selection and its lifetime prediction for a Photovoltaic (PV) inverter application. A reliability-oriented design methodology is proposed to take into account the long-term operation conditions (e.g. ambient temperature, solar irradiance level) of PV inverters. Finally, the presenter will give a brief introduction of the research activities at the Center of Reliable Power Electronics (CORPE) of Aalborg University, Denmark. 
Huai Wang received the Ph.D. degree in Electronic Engineering from City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, in 2012.  Since graduation, he has been with Aalborg University, Denmark, where he is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Energy Technology.  He is currently also a short-term Visiting Scientist at the Power Electronics Group of MIT. 
His research interests include reliability of capacitors for DC-link applications, reliability of power electronic systems, high-voltage DC-DC power converters, time-domain control of converters, and passive components reduction technologies.  He is the principal investigator of a research project on reliability of capacitors in power electronic systems funded by the Danish Research Council. In the above research areas, he has co-authored over 30 papers, filed 3 patents, and received 5 awards on papers and projects from IEEE, industry companies and the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.