News

3.6kV/400A SiC IPM

SPEC developed a novel and cost-effective 3.6kV/400A Sic HB IPM based on the Austin SuperMOS

Nov 2021: SPEC developed a novel and cost-effective 3.6kV/400A Sic half-bridge IPM based on the Austin SuperMOS. This work is featured by the power electronics news website.
Twenty-four 1200V SiC MOSFETs are integrated into the IPM together with a high isolation voltage gate power supply, gate driver with overcurrent protection. Ultra-low-power loop stray inductance is achieved by utilizing magnetic flux cancellation in the IPM.

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Prof. Alex Huang received 2021 IEEE Power and Energy Society Energy Internet Pioneer Award

October 2021: Dr. Alex Huang, SPEC director, and Dula D. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering at UT Austin was the recipient of the 2021 Energy Internet Pioneer Award. The award was given in a virtual ceremony held on October 23, 2021, at the 5th IEEE Energy Internet and Energy System Integration (EI2 ) Conference held in Taiyuan, China from 22nd Oct – 24th Oct 2021.

The Energy Internet Pioneer Award, abbreviated as EIPA, is presented to a respected professor/scientist/engineer for his/her pioneering technology or leading contributions to the development of Energy Internet. EIPA will be awarded to no more than one winner per year, which consists of a plaque with a suitable citation, describing the contributions of the awardee. Dr. Huang was given this award for his pioneering contribution in the development of the Energy Internet concept and the smart solid-state transformer-based “Energy Router” technology.

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Professor Alex Huang served as a panelist in the OPAL-RT'S 13th Conference on Real-Time Simulation

Sep 2021: Professor Alex Huang served as a panelist in the OPAL-RT'S 13th Conference on Real-Time Simulation. The panel focused on "Validation of Power Electronic Industrial Applications through HIL". Other panelists are Dr. Mathieu Giroux, Dr. Hamish Laird , Dr. Ilknur Colak and Dr. Geraldo Nojima.

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SPEC Student Pengkun Liu's Defense

Jul 2021: SPEC congratulates Pengkun Liu for successfully defending his Ph.D. His thesis title is "Modeling and analysis of paralleled SiC MOSFETs for multi-chip power module". His committee members include Alex Huang, Surya Santoso, Alex Hanson, Robert Hebner, Johan Strydom

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SPEC Student Soumik Sen's Defense

Jun 2021: SPEC congratulates Soumik Sen for successfully defending his Ph.D. His thesis title is "Medium Voltage Extreme Fast Charger based on Novel Medium Voltage SiC Power Devices". His committee members include Alex Huang, Alex Hanson, Robert Hebner, Xianyong Feng, Surya Santoso.

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Keynote speech at the "Roadmap to Next-Gen EV & AV" Virtual Conference organized by EETimes

Mar 2021: Professor Alex Huang gave a keynote speech today at the "Roadmap to Next-Gen EV & AV" Virtual Conference organized by EETimes

All-GaN Power Supply

SPEC Developed all GaN PSU unit Highlighted in Power Electronics News

Mar 2021: SPEC developed 3.2kW 240V AC - 54/51V DC all GaN PFC + LLC unit highlighted in Power Electronics News. The design measures just 1U x 2U x 210 mm (800 cc) and achieves power density of 4 W/cc (65 W/in3).

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SPEC Student Atsushi Shimbori's Defense

Nov 2020: SPEC congratulates Atsushi Shimbori for successfully defending his Ph.D. His thesis title is "Device and process development of SiC lateral power devices". His committee members include Dr. Sanjay Banerjee, Dr. Edward Yu, Dr. Woongie Sung, Dr. Hiu Yung Wong and Dr. Alex Huang.

Liqi Zhang Defense

SPEC Congratulates Liqi Zhang's on his Ph.D. Defense

Jun 2020: SPEC congratulates Liqi Zhang for successfully defending his Ph.D. His thesis title is "Development of Novel Medium Voltage SiC Power Switch".

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SPEC work featured in T&D World Magazine

Apr 2020: SPEC has a recent online publication with T&D World Magazine. The article, "Grid Forming Photovoltaic Synchronous Generator Power Plants" can be accessed online. The article discusses how "the proposed GFM PVSG concept can transform today's GFL PV plants into GFM PV plants, thereby offering a cost-effective approach forward."

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SPEC Congratulates Xin Zhao's on his Ph.D. Defense

Apr 2020: SPEC congratulates Xin Zhao for successfully defending his Ph.D. His thesis title is "A Scalable and Plug-and-Play Solid-State Transformer based on Input-Series-Output-Parallel Architecture".

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SPEC Congratulates Hanning Tang's on his successful Ph.D. Defense

November 2019: SPEC congratulates Hanning Tang for successfully defending his Ph.D. His thesis title is "Design, modeling and control of a 12.47 kV isolated three phase power factor correction rectifier".

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Japanese Researchers Visit SPEC and Discuss Grid Forming Inverter

November 2019: On November 18th, 2019, the Semiconductor Power Electronics Center (SPEC) hosted a delegation from Japanese researchers from NEDO, TEPCO, Chubu Electric Power Company, Chugoku Electric Power Company, Kyushu Electric Power Company, Kansai Electric Power Company, Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association and Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. SPEC presented updated research results on the Photovoltaic Synchronous Generator(PVSG) which is the next generation PV inverter technology that can provide system inertia support. This is considered critical for a renewable dominant future power grid. After the discussion, SPEC conducted a live demonstration showing off the 40 kW PVSG that can provide 1-2 second inertia support when there is a grid frequency change or PV power intermittence.

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PVSG Live Demonstration Event

October 2019: On October 7, 2019, the Semiconductor Power Electronics Center (SPEC) hosted a live demonstration event to demonstrate the “Photovoltaic Synchronous Generator (PVSG) Technology”. The event was attended by a number of utility companies. PVSG is the next generation PV inverter technology that can provide system inertia support. This is considered critical for a renewable dominant future power grid. The project is supported by Duke Energy through CAPER (Center for Advanced Power Engineering Research). The attached pictures shows dynamic waveforms captured during the demonstration on the oscilloscope and as well as on the PVSG control monitoring system. The demonstrated 40 kW PVSG could provided 1-2 second inertia support when there is a grid frequency change or PV power intermittence.

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IEEE ECCE 2019

October 2019: A number of researchers from the Semiconductor Power Electronics Center (SPEC) attended 2019 IEEE ECCE Conference in Baltimore from 9/30/2019 to 10/3/2019. SPEC researchers held a booth to show the most updated research results covering from device packaging, high power density converter, medium voltage solid state transformer and microgrid. Following papers are presented at this conference:
“3kW Four-Level Flying Capacitor Totem-Pole Bridgeless PFC Rectifier with 200V GaN Devices”
“Digital Interleaving Control for Two-Phase TCM GaN Totem-Pole PFC to Reduce Current Distortion”
“Design of A Medium Voltage Solid-State Transformer based on Modular AC-AC Resonant Converter and an Input-Series-Output-Parallel Architecture”

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1700V SiC power MOSFET based high power bidirectional DC/DC converter

September 2019: Researchers at the Semiconductor Power Electronics Center (SPEC) has developed a 200 kW SiC based high power bidirectional DC/DC converter based on 1700V SiC power MOSFET technology. A world record peak efficiency of 99.59% was achieved at 80kW and 99.30% at full power of 200 kW. The development effort was supported by DOE as part of the Solar-battery integration technology project.

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Welcome New Students!

September 2019: Perhaps the most important event at SPEC is the infusion of new talents. With the launch of new semester, new students bring to this Lab a rich and vibrant set of experiences and ideas that renews our spirit of possibility. This year, we welcome four new students Sanjay, Zibo, Michael and Adithyan who will be embarking on a journey of unleashing their creativity and smarts during the next few years. We couldn't be more thrilled for them. We're all so lucky to be here. SPEC's capacity to inspire and lead is perennial. Now you are a part of this family and every magical property of it, and we couldn't be more excited about you and the work that you will be crafting during your stay here.

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Prof. Alex Huang received 2019 IEEE Industry Applications Society Gerald Kliman Innovator Award

August 2019: Prof. Alex Q. Huang received the 2019 IEEE Industry Applications Society Gerald Kliman Innovator Award. He was recognized for development of “Si and SiC high-power devices and the promotion of their industry applications.”
“The IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS) Gerald Kliman Innovator Award was established in 2005 to honor innovators who contributed to the technical areas of IAS’s Industrial Power Conversion Systems department. The award may be presented annually to an individual for meritorious contributions to the advancement of power conversion technologies through innovations and their application to industry. The technical field for this award includes, but is not limited to Electrical Machines, Electrical Drives, Power Electronic Systems and Power Electronic Devices. This Award is named in honor of Dr. Gerald Kliman, in memory of his many contributions and innovations to these technical areas. This award is sponsored by General Electric through the IEEE Foundation.”

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INFEWS: National Science Foundation Research Traineeship(NRT) Program

May 2019: Semiconductor Power Electronics Center(SPEC) is proud to be part of the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship(NRT) Program. The NRT program at UT Austin, called INFEWS, prepares students from diverse backgrounds to become future leaders in addressing the most complex energy and water challenges in agriculture. For detail of the program please visit https://sites.utexas.edu/infews/. INFEWS supports graduate students in the form of a fellowship so highly motivated and engaged students are welcome to contact SPEC.

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SPEC to develop next generation grid forming PV inverters to enhance the resilience of power grid

March 2019: US DOE’s has recently announced to invest $36m in a number of projects to improve situational awareness of solar energy systems. Dr. Alex Huang. SPEC director and ECE professor is part of the Solar Critical Infrastructure Energization (SOLACE) System project led by EPRI. The SOLACE project will develop a comprehensive resilience approach to high penetration solar based power grid.

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IEEE APEC 2019

March 2019: Dr. Alex Huang and several of SPEC students attended the APEC 2019 in Anaheim, CA, from March 17 to March 21. Several papers of Dr. Huang's group were published.

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SPEC hosted a lab tour for ISPG ESWG visitors

March 2019: SPEC hosted a lab tour during the Interagency Advanced Power Group (IAPG) Electrical Systems Working Group (ESWG) Meeting. Research scientist Dr. Ruiyang Yu, Ph.D. students Xinzhao, Soumik Sen and Wei Xu presents demo of the project outcomes to the meeting attendees.

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Prof. Alex Huang published a new book on energy internet

March 2019: Prof. Alex Huang published a new book,The Energy Internet: An Open Energy Platform to Transform Legacy Power Systems into Open Innovation and Global Economic Engines. With the potential to transform the infrastructure of the electric grid, the book provides analysis of various enabling technologies and technical solutions, such as control theory, communication, and the social and economic aspects that are central to obtaining a clear appreciation of the potential of this complex infrastructure. Provides a clear analysis of the architecture of the Energy Internet to ensure an understanding of the technologies behind generating, distributing and consuming electricity in this way. Includes a variety of global case studies of real-world implementation and pilot projects to thoroughly demonstrate the theoretical, technological and economic considerations.

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Prof. Alex Huang Elected to National Academy of Inventors

December 2018: Prof. Alex Q. Huang has been selected as a fellow in the prestigious National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for 2018. He was chosen for demonstrating “a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and welfare of society.”

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SPEC undergradute students show GaN buck converter powering the data center on ECE Capstone Design

Nov 2018: Several SPEC undergraduate students showed their designed synchronous, half-bridge, GaN buck converter. They improve on existing power converters by achieving an efficiency greater than 97%, which is the current standard for 48V to 12V conversion.

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SPEC receives DOE award to develop Modular Hybrid SST

Semiconductor Power Electronics Center (SPEC) at UT Austin has received a grant from Department of Energy (DOE) to develop technologies for the next generation flexible and adaptable large power transformer(LPT). The developed Hybrid Solid State Transformer is suitable for constructing 138kV LPTs with an output voltage of 4kV, 35kV, 69kV, 115kV. The efficiency of the transformer will be more than 98%.

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SPEC Totem-Pole PFC paper published in IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics

November 2018: SPEC just published a paper on "Predictive ZVS Control with Improved ZVS Time Margin and Limited Variable Frequency Range for A 99% Efficient, 130W/in3 MHz GaN Totem-Pole PFC Rectifier" in IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. Authors include Qingyun Huang, Ruiyang Yu, Qingxuan Ma, Alex Q. Huang

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SPEC PV inverter paper published in IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics

November 2018: SPEC just published a paper on "High-Efficiency and High-Density Single-Phase Dual-Mode Cascaded Buck-Boost Multilevel Transformerless PV Inverter with GaN AC Switches" in IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. Authors include Qingyun Huang, Alex Q. Huang, Ruiyang Yu, Pengkun Liu and Wensong Yu

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IEEE ECCE 2018

Sep 2018: Dr. Alex Huang and several of SPEC student and researches attended the ECCE 2018 in Portland, Oregon, USA on September 23 – 27. 6 SPEC papers were published. Qingxuan Ma presented student demo program.

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SPEC Student Qingyun Huang's Defense

Jul 2018: Congratulations to SPEC student Qingyun Huang on his successful defence today. His dissartation title is "Advanced Single-Phase PV Inverter", his committee members include Alex Q. Huang (supervisor), Surya Santoso, Hao Zhu, Nan Sun, Mark Flynn.

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2018 Austin Power Electronics Symposium

May 2018: The inaugural 2018 Austin Power Electronics Symposium took place on May 30th at the Texas Advanced Computing Center with nearly 100 participants from academia and industry.

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Solar Energy Storage Problem May be Solved in New Single-System Technology

May 2018: SPEC director Dr. Alex Huang talks about SPEC project on M4 Inverter with DOE. Generating power from the sun isn’t the problem. The technology has been there for decades. Storing that power efficiently, however, has been a challenge. Until now.

Prof. Alex Huang Receives IEEE PELS R. David Middlebrook Achievement Award

AUGUST 23, 2020
Prof. Alex Huang Receives IEEE PELS R. David Middlebrook Achievement Award
Prof. Alex Q. Huang of Texas ECE has been named the recipient of the 2020 IEEE PELS R. David Middlebrook Achievement Award.

The IEEE PELS R. David Middlebrook Achievement Award was established in 2011 to "honor an individual who is judged to have accomplished outstanding contribution in the technical field of power electronics, within one or more subfields such as modeling & control, design-oriented analysis, development, simulation and application of electronic devices, passive components, analog sensing, and power circuits for inverters, converters and motor drives in all power levels."

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SPEC contributed GaN Power Device Roadmap published

May 2018: SPEC contributed GaN Power Device Roadmap published

DOE Solar Project

SPEC receives DOE funding to develop advanced utility scale solar inverter

April 2018: SPEC has been awarded $3M to develop and demonstrate an advanced utility scale solar inverter. The project goal, proposed under DOE FOA-0001740, ADVANCED POWER ELECTRONICS DESIGN FOR SOLAR APPLICATIONS, is to develop and demonstrate a Modular, Multi-function, Multiport, and Medium Voltage utility scale SiC solar inverter (M4 Inverter). The M4 Inverter is the next generation utility scale PV inverter needed to drastically reduce the LCOE cost by another 50% by 2030 and to provide the grid friendly functionalities needed for a PV dominant electric grid. Project partners are ERCOT, Toshiba International, Wolfspeed and Opal RT.

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SPEC receives ONR funding to develop PEBB13800

Semiconductor Power Electronics Center (SPEC) at UT Austin has received a grant from Office of Naval research (ONR) to develop technologies for the next generation Power Electronics Building Block. Called PEBB13800, the developed modular converter will be based on advanced SiC power devices and topology to power next generation DC shipboard power system directly from the 13.8 kV AC power source. This project is part of the ESRDC (Electric Ship Research and Development Center).

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Medium Voltage SST paper just published in the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics

April 2018: SPEC researcher has just published a paper on medium voltage SST. The paper entitled "7.2 kV Single Stage Solid State Transformer Based on Current-Fed Series Resonant Converter and 15 kV SiC MOSFETs" is published in IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. Authors include Qianlai Zhu, Li Wang, Alex Q. Huang, Kristen Booth and Liqi Zhang.

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SPEC power electronics control paper published in IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics

February 2018: SPEC just published a paper on "A Novel Dominant Dynamic Elimination (DDE) Control for Voltage-Controlled Inverter" in IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. Authors include Xiangjun Quan, Xiaobo Dou, Zaijun Wu, Minqiang Hu, Hui Song and Alex Q. Huang

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Novel PV Inverter published in IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics

March 2018: SPEC just published a paper on "Feedforward Proportional Carrier-based PWM for Cascaded H-bridge PV Inverter" in IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics. Authors include Qingyun Huang and Alex Q. Huang

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2018 Austin Power Electronics Symposium

SPEC will hold 2018 Austin Power Electronics Symposium at TACC, J.J. Pickle Research Campus on May 30, 2018.

IEEE APEC 2018

IEEE APEC 2018

Dr. Alex Huang and several of SPEC students attended the APEC 2018 in San Antonio, TX, from March 4 to March 8. More than 10 SPEC papers were published.

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Best Presentation Paper

Congratulations to SPEC student Hanning Tang. His poster at APEC2018 was selected as the best presentation paper.