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IEEE Spectrum Webcast Series - Sponsored by NI

Publish Date: Jan 16, 2013 | 0 Ratings | 0.00 out of 5 | Print


NI has teamed up with IEEE Spectrum to develop a webcast series on the Fundamentals of Smart Grid Power Electronics. This series explores the important developments and trends associated with FPGA-based power electronics for the smart grid. View the individual webcasts below.

Table of Contents

A New System-Level Design Methodology and Platform for FPGA-based Power Electronics Control

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Increasing adoption of field-programmable-gate-arrays (FPGAs) in grid-tied power converters and inverters for the smart grid is driving significant interest in improved platforms for development and commercialization. Modern FPGAs now provide orders of magnitude higher computer performance per dollar and per watt compared to single-core DSPs and microprocessors, in addition to their silicon gate level (SGL) reconfigurability and ultra-high-speed digital control performance.

In this presentation, a new platform and methodology for system level design of FPGA-based smart grid power electronics control systems is introduced and demonstrated. A new variable timestep co-simulation interface is developed to enable the high-speed, coupled dynamic interaction between FPGA and switched mode power circuit to be accurately captured. The same user defined FPGA software, programmed without requiring any knowledge of HDL languages, is then transferred to a pre-validated COTS control system for high volume deployment. The feasibility, validity and accuracy of the approach are evaluated through the design and testing of grid tied inverters and power converters. Additionally, an FPGA-based real-time hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) state-space simulator is developed which enables exhaustive validation testing of the physical power converter and control system. Also introduced for the first time is a new power electronics research and instrumentation system for experiential learning and teaching of modern FPGA-based power system design.


Brian MacCleery - Principal Product Manager for Clean Energy Technology, NI


Modernist Circuit Topologies & Transistors for Smart Grid Power Electronics

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With rapid improvements in the performance-per-dollar of digitally controlled high-power-grid-tied inverters and converters, designers would be wise to examine their choice of power electronics transistors and circuit topologies. Join us for a fast paced overview of modern and emerging trends in smart grid power electronics and take away the following:

  • Learn the latest circuit design topologies that are currently available
  • Discover new strategies for achieving the required performance and energy efficiency
  • Examine the tradeoffs between alternatives
  • Analyze the emerging option of high efficiency Silicon-Carbide (SiC) power MOSFETS and understand their benefits, selection criteria and related design considerations
  • Optimize the performance of a chosen circuit design through FPGA-based advanced digital control techniques


Kyle B. Clark – Engineering Manager, Dynapower Company

Mrinal K. Das, PhD – Product Marketing Manager & Power Device Scientist, Cree Inc.

Brian MacCleery - Principal Product Manager for Clean Energy Technology, NI


Power Converter Controller Design for Smart Grid Power Electronics

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Just say no to trial and error when designing your next smart grid power converter or flexible AC transmission control system. Learn how to fool proof your design cycle by applying appropriate validation and control synthesis techniques. New methods will be demonstrated through the design of two FPGA-based control systems: 1. A classic field-oriented control and space-vector PWM inverter and 2. The application of set-theoretic methods in power converter controller synthesis to optimize the reliability of the closed-loop system while protecting component lifetime.

Join us for demo based introductions to the proposed techniques, including:

  • New developments in set theory to automatically synthesize low complexity control laws with strong reliability guarantees,
  • Power electronics co-simulation tools for automated testing of FPGA control software,
  • Real-time simulators and miniature-scale grids for rapid prototyping and hardware-in-the-loop verification, and
  • Deployment-ready inverter stacks and FPGA control boards for high volume commercialization.


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