Power Electronics in Sustainable Energy Development

December 31, 2011
School of Engineering, Coimbatore

A national conference on Power Electronics in Sustainable Energy Development was organized by the Amrita School of Engineering at Coimbatore during December 19-20, 2011.

Power Electronics

“Consumption of electricity is globally increasing. Consequently there is a demand to increase power generation capacity; a significant percentage of the capacity increase is now based on renewable energy sources,” explained key conference organizers from the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Dr. T. B. Isha, Professor, and Dr. R. Jayabarathi, Associate Professor.

Elaborating further, they added, “Climate change is increasing the need to find sustainable solutions. Renewable energy systems are currently undergoing rapid changes in technology and use. Hydroelectric power and wind power are in a relatively mature phase. Ocean wave and tidal sources of power are in early stages of development.”

Power Electronics

The organizers explained the relevance of power electronics in such a scenario.

“Renewable energy systems are becoming a major contributor to grid power. Renewable energy sources are hooked into electrical energy networks using power electronics. Moreover, power transmission and distribution is becoming more reliant on power electronics to efficiently control and regulate electrical energy in electrical networks already congested.”

“Large-scale integration of renewable energy sources into the power grid raises critical issues at both the system level and the level of a generator’s interface to the grid. For the former, for example, the variability in output from renewable generation sources has to be addressed.”

Power Electronics

“Power electronics offers critical functionalities affecting voltage and frequency compatibility, renewable sources for maximized energy yield and power support to the grid.”

“Power electronics is needed to adapt the natural characteristics of renewable energy sources to our human application needs. Because, in general, these natural forms are not displaceable, the energy produced needs to be stored or sent to the AC network immediately.”

Further exploring all these issues were the invited talks and paper presentations on topics that included Smart Grid, Smart Metering, Electromagnetic Interference, Embedded System Applications in Machines and Drives, Energy Storage Systems and Digital Control and Processing.

Papers presented both original research as well as a review of ongoing development efforts in power electronics.

Power Electronics

The keynote speech at the conference was delivered by Dr. K. Gopakumar, Professor and Chairman of Centre for Electronics Design and Technology, Indian Institute of Science, who highlighted recent developmental and research trends in Multilevel Inverter-fed Drives and explained different methods of control for improving the performance characteristics.

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