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MPEL Seminar

Growing Electric Networks from the Bottom-Up: Circuits and Systems for Decentralized Power Conversion

Jason PoonPhD CandidateUniversity of California, Berkeley

In recent decades, we have witnessed the emergence of an electric grid that is increasingly decentralized and is capable of reliably integrating renewable resources that are distributed and intermittent in nature. While this important trend continues with the electric grid, there is growing need for a similar decentralization of electric networks in a variety of high-impact emerging applications, including all-electric aircraft and ships, data centers, smart buildings, and application processors. Many of these applications have faster dynamics and lower inertia than an electric grid, and, combined with requirements for high performance and high reliability, will require fundamentally new power conversion architectures that are highly resilient, scalable, and efficient. This talk presents contributions in decentralized optimization and control for power conversion circuits and systems that lay the foundation for a new class of electric networks that can be scaled from the bottom-up. First, I will discuss new design techniques for power conversion circuits that operate in tandem with each other to improve power quality and efficiency. Second, I will discuss our work on power conversion systems that can actively detect and diagnosis faults, essentially acting as probes within networks, enabling improvements in reliability and resiliency. I will conclude by discussing future directions in the interdisciplinary design of power conversion circuits and systems that can support and synthesize decentralized electric networks.
Jason Poon is a Ph.D candidate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) at UC Berkeley. His research aims to address societal-scale challenges in power and energy, including enabling sustainable electric grids, electrified transportation, and ubiquitous information technology, as well as exploring the principled design, control, and optimization of the circuits and systems that will facilitate these emerging megatrends. He received his Masters in EECS from UC Berkeley in 2015 and his Bachelors in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Olin College of Engineering in 2012. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship, the Berkeley EECS Excellence Award, the Olin Merit Scholarship, and a Best Paper Award at 2016 IEEE COMPEL for work on distributed fault tolerant power electronics. Throughout his career, Jason has held a number of positions in industry, a national laboratory, and academic institutions, including Dialog Semiconductor, ABB Corporate Research, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, MIT, the National University of Singapore, and Typhoon HIL. Since 2015, he is founder and Chair of the IEEE Power Electronics Society Student Branch Chapter at UC Berkeley.

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Faculty Host

Al-Thaddeus Avestruz