Below you will find our previous events. Whether you are catching up on the latest or need a refresher, we hope to see you at the next event!

Talk Title:    High-Efficiency/Density Composite Converters for Electric Drivetrain Apps
Date:              Monday, November 15, 2021
Speaker:       Dragan Maksimović, Professor and Director, University of Colorado
Event Recording: Google Drive
Abstract: This talk is focused on composite switched-mode power converter architectures where device stresses and sizes of passive components can be substantially reduced compared to conventional converter configurations. The composite architectures are inspired by the concepts of direct and indirect power processing and the fundamental limits of dc-dc converter networks. In electric drivetrain architectures, including xEV and electrified aircraft applications, a boost dc-dc converter is often utilized to interface a battery system to variable-speed ac drives, thus enabling the system operation at increased dc bus voltages. Using standard boost converter realizations, it has been shown how wide bandgap SiC devices lead to improvements in efficiency and reductions in the size of magnetic components. We then show how further improvements can be achieved using the composite architectures where SiC device and passive component stresses and losses are substantially reduced. Optimization of composite converters involves complex design tradeoffs in terms of losses, size, and reliability. To address these challenges, a design methodology is presented, which involves selection of the converter architecture, magnetics design, control techniques, and electro-thermal co-design. The approach is illustrated by modeling, simulations, and experimental results on a 125 kW SiC composite converter prototype featuring 21.3 kW/L power density and 99% drive-cycle weighted efficiency.

Talk Title:      The Future of Electric Cars: How Do We Charge Them Up? Do They Really Bring Benefits?
Date:              Thursday, November 11, 2021
Speaker:       Philip Krein, Professor, University of Illinois
Event Recording: Youtube Link
Abstract: The shift to more electric cars and transportation brings opportunities for control, extreme performance, energy reduction and flexibility, cheaper operation, and lower emissions. Customers see limited range, battery performance limits, slow refueling, and lack of charging facilities as big drawbacks. This presentation shows how the energy needs of most electric and plug-in hybrid cars can be met with the conventional electrical outlets most of us have. Safety protection, metering, billing, and other functions can be supported by a car to turn a “dumb” electrical outlet into a smart vehicle charge point. Actual driver needs are discussed, showing how more advanced chargers fit in. Survey results on the University of Illinois campus help to support the ideas. The talk explores how to think differently about electric cars and energy. Flexibility can make electric vehicles important partners for the future of electricity.

Talk Title: The Digital Carbon Footprint Is Growing, or Is It?
Date:           Thursday, May 13, 2021
Speaker: Todd Brady, Director of Global Public Affairs and Sustainability, Intel Corporation
Abstract: There are two trends that are rapidly changing the world we live in – digitalization and climate change.  At first glance, the two appear to be completely disparate trends.  However upon further examination, there are correlations that are worth exploring.  For one, digital technologies, devices and applications are ubiquitous in today’s world and growing.  With such growth comes environmental impact.  But what is that impact and is the growth significantly contributing to climate change or do efficiency improvements offset emissions?  Digitalization has a clear environmental “footprint” that must be prioritized by information and communication technology (ICT) companies.  At the same time, ICT has a “handprint” that has had a measurable benefit in reducing the growth of the world’s carbon emissions, with many more unrealized opportunities. The seminar will examine this topic from the lens of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, Intel Corporation, and will discuss both the challenges ahead as well as the opportunities that digitalization presents.

Talk Title: Bi-Directional Wireless Power Transfer Technologies for V2G-H2V Applications
Date:           Monday, November 30, 2020
Speaker: Udaya K. Madawala, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Abstract: Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining global acceptance as the means of future transport for sustainable living and as an alternative energy storage to offer services through the vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) concepts. For V2G and V2H applications, EVs essentially require a bi-directional power interface with either the electricity network (grid) or home to allow for both storing (charging) and retrieval (discharging) of energy. This can be achieved by both wired and wireless means, but the latter, based primarily on Inductive Power Transfer (IPT) technology, is becoming more popular being convenient, safe, and ideal for both stationary and dynamic charging of EVs. The seminar discusses the standards, challenges and future directions of V2G-H2V technologies, and presents the latest advances in bi-directional wireless power transfer (BD-WPT) technology developed for V2G-H2V applications.

Inaugural meeting, on October 3rd, 2019, PPPEAC