Zhou and Preindl Win MITAB Best Paper Award

September 07, 2022

Dr. Liwei Zhou and Prof. Matthias Preindl won the best paper award at the Applied Energy Symposium: MIT “A+B” (MITAB) for the paper "A Multi-Layer Software-Defined Architecture with MPC-VFCSS-based Power Module for High Performance Electric Vehicle Energy Conversion". MITAB is dedicated to a two-step approach: (A) accelerate the deployment of existing, industrially proven technologies, namely solar, wind and nuclear base load at an unprecedented scale and pace, from now to 2050; and (B) develop new concepts and technologies that may replace the dirtier parts of (A) post-2050, at terawatt scale. MITAB 2022 was a four-day symposium on July 5-8, 2022, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, with more than 10,000 participants online worldwide each day according to the organizers.

Their paper proposes a novel approach to power converters: software defined power electronics. These power converters are inherently scalable, reconfigurable, and increase reliability through partial redundancy. Electric power is converted in comparably small autoconverter modules (ACM) and multiple ACM’s are bundled to form power conversion topologies. The resulting DC-DC converters, inverters, and active front ends are software-defined and exist exclusively in the virtual domain and the number of allocated ACM's define the power rating. Software defined power electronics were initially applied to EV drivetrains and bidirectional DC charging stations capable of providing grid services. In particular, transformerless DC charger implementations using the concept have the potential to reduce power losses and cost to 1/2 to 1/3 of existing solutions.

"It is a great honor to receive this award. I am excited to contribute our software-defined technologies to a more electrified transportation with the goal of Net Zero Emissions," said Dr. Liwei Zhou.

The research leading to the award was conducted in Prof. Preindl's MPlab that focuses on the design and control of motor drives, power electronics, and batteries for transportation electrification and renewable energy.

"I am honored and pleased to receive this award for our software defined power electronics concept. We believe this concept has the potential to support the transition towards an emission-free transportation system and renewable grid," said Matthias.