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SystemX Seminar presents "The importance of Power Electronics in the modern power system"

The importance of Power Electronics in the modern power system
Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 4:30pm
Bldg. 380 Rm. 380X
Georgios Demetriades & Francisco Canales (ABB Corporate Research)
Abstract / Description: 


The power grid is having a fast evolution due to the high penetration or renewables mainly motivated by economic and environmental policies which aim to reduce CO2 emission. It is evolving very fast from a centralized power generation to a distributed one with a high mesh interconnection. In addition, the growing global population and new type of consumer trends such as increase in comfort, and the need to power electric vehicles and large data centers, are driving an even greater increase in the demand of electricity.

One of the main concerns is the intermittent energy generation characteristic of renewables such as wind and PV which can result in power quality problems or grid instability. In addition, it is typical that such sources of energy are far away from the consumers which require that energy is collected and transmitted to the consumers for long distances. With the aim to keep the capacity and a healthy grid, there will be a need of new infrastructure where power electronic components will play an important role. Such components need to increase the efficiency of the power generation and reduce the losses in the transmission, distribution and distribution grids. In addition, this must be done in a reliable way ensuring the effective integration of renewable power generation.

The presentation will outlay the major characteristics of the future grid and outlays the technical challenges which need to be addressed by the research community in terms of the power electronic components. It will be shown that by providing solutions that by integrating the full value chain in power electronics, from power semiconductors to converters, it is possible to have an optimized system which will meet trends related to higher efficiency and power density in a cost-effective way.


Georgios D. Demetriades was born in Famagusta, Cyprus. He received the M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi, Greece, in 1992, and the Tech. Licentiate and Ph.D. degrees in power electronics from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, in 2001 and 2005, respectively. Before joining ALSTOM Power Environmental Systems, Sweden, in 1995, he worked in Cyprus for two years. In 2000, he joined the ABB Corporate Research Center, Västerås, Sweden, where he is currently Group Research Area Manager – Power Electronics. Since 2013, he has also been a Visiting Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India. His main research interests include power electronics, VSC HVDC, FACTS devices, high-frequency DC–DC power resonant converters, and high-frequency electromagnetic modeling.

Francisco Canales received the B.S. degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from Universidad Veracruzana, Veracruz, México, the M.Sc. degree in electronic engineering from Centro Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico (CENIDET), Cuernavaca, México, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA.

He was a Senior Research Assistant with the Center for Power Electronics Systems, Virginia Tech, where he was involved in core research and several industry-sponsored projects. He was an Associate Professor with the Department of Electronic Engineering, CENIDET. He is currently a Corporate Research Fellow with ABB Corporate Research Ltd. His current Research interests include modular converter designs, resonant switching concepts, and high-efficient conversion topologies for industrial, traction, and renewable energy applications.