Alumnus wins IEEE IAS Best Thesis Award

Congratulations to Anup Anurag, Ph.D., for winning the IEEE Industry Applications Society Best Thesis Award for 2022. This international recognition was for his work titled “HV SiC MOSFET Enabled Solid State Transformers for Mobile Utility Support Equipment-based Applications.” Dr. Anurag’s research focused mainly on developing a medium voltage solid state transformer to integrate medium voltage grids to low voltage grids. His work in this area was previously recognized at the 2021 IEEE ECCE Asia Conference.

“I am very proud of Dr. Anurag’s research and his efforts to advance developments in solid state transformers,” said Subhashish Bhattacharya, Ph.D., Duke Energy Distinguished Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State and Anup’s advisor. “It is wonderful to see students succeed and be recognized for years of hard work.”

There are several motivations for using solid state transformers (SSTs) as compared to conventional transformers. SSTs have inherent functional advantages as well as reduced size, reduced weight, and improved controllability. In addition, SSTs require much less copper and aluminum which have very high CO2 production emissions.

The development of AC and DC microgrids requires suitable medium voltage converters. The availability of SiC MOSFETs and SiC IGBTs with blocking voltages up to 15 kV enables simple two-level architectures. Dr. Anurag’s research focused on designing an SST using 10 kV MOSFETs for connecting a 4.16kV AC grid to a 480 VAC low voltage grid. A primary challenge was to develop a novel gate driver which minimized the effects of high dV/dt switching but also had a high voltage isolation capacity.

The prototype medium voltage SST assembled and tested in the FREEDM High Bay lab is now in use at the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. This video explains the commissioning process and details of operation. Dr. Anurag’s complete dissertation is available through the NC State Library. He defended his work in May 2021 and is now on the R&D staff at the Milan M. Jovanovic Power Electronics Lab at Delta Electronics Americas in Durham, NC.

Congratulations, Dr. Anurag!