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Renewable Energy & Advanced Power Electronics Research Lab
Senior design team presents project on smart residential photovoltaic and energy storage systems during the I AM QF event
Undergraduate students Mr. Seif ElGazer, Mr. Abdelrahman Amer, and Ms. Nabila Elbeheiry present their senior design project at the I AM QF conference which commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Qatar Foundation in Doha, Qatar. Senior design is meant to be a capstone for the undergraduate curriculum in which students integrate knowledge gained through their studies into a final project.
The team carried out a detailed techno-economic study for the implementation of a grid-connected rooftop photovoltaic and energy storage system in the State of Qatar through the development of novel electric load control techniques. Moreover, the team investigated the supplementary technology required to improve the overall resilience of the electrical power system when faced with overload, weather, or other natural/man-made disturbances. The team presented their work to HH Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser and HE Hassan Al Thawadi during an event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Qatar Foundation.
The REAPER lab congratulates Mr. Moustafa Raslan for graduating with his M.S. from Texas A&M University
Mr. Moustafa Raslan received his M.S. degree in interdisciplinary engineering in December 2019. His thesis entitled “Shape Memory Alloy Actuated Switch (SMAAS)” studied the feasibility of using shape memory alloy as a mechanism for actuating an electrical switch. He evaluated several candidate designs, downselecting to feasible designs which were then prototypes to demonstrate the functionality. Mr. Raslan’s contributions are expected to enable an entirely new type of electrical switch, capable of being miniaturized using micro-electro-mechanical (MEMs) techniques. His research resulted in a US patent application in addition to scholarly publications.
Moustafa received his B.S. with Honors in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University in Qatar in May 2017. His research interests include electro-mechanical systems, shape memory alloys and microfabrication.
The REAPER Lab congratulates Ph.D. student Mr. Lance Alpuerto for passing his preliminary examination. His research pertains to the multiphysics modeling, validation, and optimization of non-planar photovoltaic (PV) applications.
Lance received his B.A. in Mathematics from Lyon College in Batesville, AR, in 2013 and then M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University at College Station, TX in 2016. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in interdisciplinary engineering at Texas A&M.
Dr Balog presents a talk on arc fault and flash detection in photovoltaic and direct-current wiring systems.
Professor Balog presented a talk entitled “Arc Fault and Flash Detection in Photovoltaic and Building Wiring Systems – Detecting Electrical Safety Problems, Making the Electrical System Safer for the Customer,” at the 2019 Workshop on Safe and Reliable Electrical Distribution Systems for Qatar on December 2, 2019. The workshop was sponsored by a grant from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). The talk was followed by a question and answer session on technologies related to UL1699B and the detection of arcing events in photovoltaic (PV) and battery energy storage systems (ESS). Dr. Balog presented results from multiple research projects in the REAPER lab which were funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), QNRF, and other sources. This including patented new technologies to make these direct current (DC) systems safer by improving the detection efficacy for arcing events.
REAPER Lab congratulates Ph.D. student Ms. Minjeong Kim for passing her preliminary examination. Her research topic pertains to control of thyristor-based single and three-phase inverters.
Minjeong received her B.Sc. from Yonsei University in Seoul, S. Korea, in 2014 and the M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University at College Station, TX USA. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in power electronics at Texas A&M in College Station. Her interest areas control and modulation method for inverters.
M.S. student Moustafa Raslan presented a paper, co-authored with Dr. Robert Balog, entitled “Bi-stable Shape Memory Alloy Actuated Switch for PV Skin” at the SGRE 2019 Conference in Doha, Qatar on 20th November 2019.
In this paper, a design concept for a bi-stable shape memory alloy actuated switch is proposed for smart non-planar photovoltaic applications. The proposed design concept provides the potential for miniaturization and overcomes common drawbacks of SMA actuators (e.g. relaxation). A detailed design model for the proposed concept in addition to a functional macro-scale proof-of-concept prototype made of the proposed concept is presented in this paper.
Dr. Wesam Rohouma presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Robert Balog, Ph.D. student Mr. Aaqib Ahmad Peerzada, and Dr. Miroslav M. Begovic entitled “Fault-Tolerant D-STATCOM Based Matrix Converter” at the 2nd International Conference on Smart Grid and Renewable Energy SGRE 2019 in Doha, Qatar on 19th November 2019.
In this paper, four-leg fault-tolerant capacitor-less power quality compensator based matrix converter topology is proposed for use in low voltage distribution networks to mitigate power quality issues. The proposed system has a reconfigurable structure and adaptive switch control schemes to allow fault-tolerant operation of the converter. Fault detection is based on the output voltage measurement error. Finite control set model predictive control is used to control the converter. This fault-tolerant capacitor-less topology is well-suited for long-life applications under hot environmental conditions. Simulation results in different open-switch fault conditions verify the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed solution.
REAPER Lab congratulates Dr. Morcos Metry for successfully defending his Ph.D. dissertation, “Model Predictive Control Methods for Photovoltaic Electrical Energy Conversion Systems.” Dr. Metry’s research studied the theory of finite control set model predictive control (MPC) and the application to power electronics for photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. He developed novel control algorithms based on MPC for sensorless maximum power point tracking (MPPT) of the PV cells, control of single and three-phase grid-interactive inverters, and active filtering of the double-frequency power ripple within the single-phase inverter. His research resulted in a US patent application in addition to many scholarly conferences and journal publications.
Dr. Metry received his B.S. from Texas A&M University at Qatar in electrical and computer engineering, with honors, in May 2014. Then he joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX USA to pursue his Ph.D. in Power Electronics. Morcos is also a research trainee in the Research and Development department of Qatar Foundation. His interest areas are in photovoltaic integration with the power grid using advanced control methods.
Minjeong Kim presented her research during the Texas A&M Energy and Power Research Day, College Station, TX, USA
Ph.D. student Ms. Minjeong Kim gave a presentation entitled “Control of capacitorless ac link inverters ” at the Texas A&M Energy and Power Group Research Day in College Station, Tx, USA on November 8, 2019.
In the presentation, Minjeong discussed the advantages of an ac-link inverter over the traditional dc-link topology and presented new control methods that she developed to ensure safe and proper commutation. The dc-link capacitor is well-known to be an Achilles heel, causing reliability problems and reducing the lifetime of inverters. The ac-link inverter eliminates the rectification step in a conventional two-stage inverter and processes the square-wave link voltage directly into grid-compatible sinusoidal voltage. Ms. Kim discussed new control methods for the three-phase voltage sourced high-frequency ac link inverters and presented results from her research.
Dr. Wesam Rohouma presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Robert Balog, Ph.D. student Mr. Aaqib Ahmad Peerzada, and Dr. Miroslav M. Begovic entitled “Use of D-STATCOM for Solid State LED Lamp Harmonic Power Mitigation” at the GCC Power 2019 Conference & Exhibition in Muscat, Oman on 29th October 2019.
In this paper, a matrix converter topology-based distribution static synchronous compensator (D-STATCOM) is proposed for use in the low voltage distribution network to compensate the harmonics generated from the LED lamps. The D-STATCOM is controlled using a finite control set model predictive control (FCS-MPC). This capacitor-less topology is well-suited for long-life applications under hot environmental conditions. Experimental studies were performed, and the results obtained showed the effectiveness of the proposed technology in harmonics power mitigation.