Invited Presentations

Dushan Boroyevich, Chair
Monday, April 10, 2017

1. At the Speed of GaN

Gene Sheridan
Navitas Semiconductor

GaN is enabling a new class of hi-speed power electronics. New topologies, new passives technologies and new high-frequency control ICs are combining with GaN power devices to make high-frequency, high-efficiency and high power densities possible to revolutionize the power electronics industry. GaN’s monolithic integration of hi-speed power FETs with analog, logic and protection circuits is accelerating the adoption of this new class of power systems thru simplified design, reduced bill-of-material costs and shorter development times. GaN technologies and the new GaN eco-system will be reviewed along with a new perspective on the market implications of this hi-speed revolution.

About Gene Sheridan
Gene Sheridan brings over 25 years of experience in power management and semiconductors with an impressive track record in creating, leading and scaling businesses that have enjoyed excellent value creation, growth and profitability. Most recently, Gene served as CEO of the VC-backed semiconductor start-up BridgeCo that captured 80% market share in the wireless audio market before a successful sale to Standard Microsystems Corporation (SMSC). Prior to BridgeCo, Gene served as VP and GM at International Rectifier (IRF) where he started multiple business and ultimately managed a business unit with a team of over 100 employees and $600M annual revenues. At IRF, Gene held several positions that spanned engineering, manufacturing, sales and marketing including the creation of a $70M/yr start-up. Gene holds a BSEE from Clarkson University.

2. Why Power Electronics is the Enabling Technology for the Future Electrical Energy Grid Supply

Pat Wheeler
Professor of Power Electronics Systems,
University of Nottingham

The move to more embedded and renewable power generation has led to the start of an increase in the dependency on power converters for the supply and stability of the future electrical energy grid. This talk will explore the applications of Power Electronics in the future grid, from the ‘last mile’ to the connection of GW off-shore wind farms. The converter topologies being developed and demonstrated for a range of applications, including HVDC, micro-grids and solid state sub-stations will explored. The challenges of deploying power converters in these power system applications will be considered and the impact on the future design, regulation and operation of the grid will be explored.

About Pat Wheeler
Prof Pat Wheeler received his BEng (Hons) degree in 1990 from the University of Bristol, UK. He received his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering for his work on Matrix Converters from the University of Bristol, UK in 1994. In 1993 he moved to the University of Nottingham and worked as a research assistant in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. In 1996 he became a Lecturer in the Power Electronics, Machines and Control Group at the University of Nottingham, UK. Since January 2008 he has been a Full Professor in the same research group. He is currently Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Nottingham. He is an IEEE PELs ‘Member at Large’ and an IEEE PELs Distinguished Lecturer. He has published 400 academic publications in leading international conferences and journals.

3. Integrating Ultra High Levels of Variable Renewable Energy in Electric Power Systems

Benjamin Kroposki
Director, Power Systems Engineering Center,
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Variable renewable energy like wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) differ from conventional generation in that they use power electronic converters instead of synchronous generators to connect to electric power grids. At small levels, the power grid can easily handle the integration of variable renewable energy. At much higher levels, there are a number of technical concerns that must be addressed to ensure reliable and economic operations. This presentation will discuss the challenges and solutions to operating power system with high levels of variable renewables and how power electronic interfaces can be used to solve some of these challenges.

About Benjamin Kroposki
Dr. Benjamin Kroposki is the Director of the Power Systems Engineering Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where he leads NREL’s strategic research in the design, planning and operations of electrical power systems. He received his BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and PhD from the Colorado School of Mines. His expertise is in the design, testing, and integration of renewable and distributed power systems and has more than 115 publications in these areas. As an IEEE Fellow, Dr. Kroposki was recognized for his leadership in renewable and distributed energy systems integration. He has served on a number of IEEE technical standards working groups and chaired IEEE 1547.4, the first international standard on microgrids.