Power electronics is the technology that ties wind turbines and photovoltaics to the electric power grid, propels hybrid and electric vehicles, powers a countless variety of electronic systems, and makes it possible to operate battery-powered mobile devices for many hours. In the Colorado Power Electronics Center, we are exploring ways to achieve significant system-level advances in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources via smart power electronics [publications]. Current research project topics include:
- Integrated power converters for photovoltaic (PV) modules in PV power systems, an ARPA-E Solar ADEPT project. Team: CU-Boulder, NREL, Nuvotronics. The project goals are to show how sub-module integrated DC-DC converters can substantially improve efficiency and reduce cost in all PV systems, including various types of PV modules in residential, commercial or utility-scale systems.
- Robust cell-level modeling and control of large battery packs, an ARPA-E AMPED (Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices) program. Team: USU, CU-Boulder, UCCS, NREL, Ford. Our objectives are to demonstrate substantial improvements in battery packs using distributed intelligent power electronics performing advanced cell-level management and control algorithms.
- Power management for high-efficiency handset and base station RF transmitter systems, including Microscale Power Converters (MPC). We are developing high-slew rate, high-bandwidth, high-efficiency power converters targeting high-efficiency RF transmitter architectures.
- High-efficiency power conversion and power control in data centers. Power conversion and digital control techniques are developed to significantly improve efficiency of power distribution and power management in data centers.
- Automotive power electronics
- Control and optimization of micro-grids using smart power electronics
- Power conversion and power management for mobile electronics
- Digital control for improved efficiency and improved transient responses in high-frequency switched-mode DC-DC power converters
- Auto-tuning and adaptive control techniques for switched-mode power converters
- Digital control for improved efficiency and reduced harmonic distortion in AC-DC power factor correction rectifiers over wide ranges of operating conditions
- A/D and digital PWM techniques for mixed-signal power control and power management integrated circuits