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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

NTNU-Chinese Collaboration on Next Generation Power Electronics Converters for Renewable Energy

Alternative title: NTNU-Kinesisk samarbeid om neste generasjons kraftelektroniske omformere for fornybar energi

Awarded: NOK 4.2 mill.

The ever-increasing penetration of renewable energy sources into the electricity system will enhance the decarbonization of the electricity generation sector. However, integration of large-scale renewable energy sources necessitates the transformation of the design and operating principles of the existing electricity grid. For the interconnection of renewable energy sources to the grid, special solid-state apparatus namely, power electronics, is needed for ensuring a stable, reliable and high-efficiency operation. From its nature, the research field of power electronics is multidisciplinary and requires specific competence from various fields of electrical engineering. The CoNeCt project aims at establishing an international cooperative research and educational framework on next generation power electronics for renewable energy sources between Norway and China. Within the project, the individual scientific competences on power electronics of three universities: NTNU, Shanghai Jiaotong and Xian Jiaotong Universities will be combined and expanded. The project objectives will be materialized by organizing joint research activities that will contain long and short-term research stays of professors and PhD researchers in both countries. In addition to this, within CoNeCt, open-access educational material for PhD courses the field of power electronics will be developed and taught at NTNU, Shanghai Jiaotong and Xian Jiaotong Universities. Dissemination and communication of the project research findings will be published at scientific journals and conferences, while an open workshop will be organized annually. During the initial phase of the project, the first version of a module-based PhD course on power electronics, power semiconductor physics and reliability was developed. A module-based PhD course will enable a flexible and research-project-oriented PhD education, by allowing PhD students to choose modules relevant to their research. This course has been developed jointly by NTNU and the international project partners. Overall, CoNeCt will create a framework for efficient knowledge transfer among the three partner Universities, and it is envisaged to positively impact the green-shift in electricity generation and electrification of large sectors of economy.

To address the urgent societal and environmental challenge of supplying clean electricity by integrating more renewable energy sources (RES) with the grid, the current design, control and operating principles of power electronics converters (PECs) must be revisited. In particular, a multidisciplinary competence on high-efficiency and reliable design, sophisticated control and stable grid operation of PECs is necessary for enabling a smooth integration of RES. CoNeCt will establish an international cooperative research and education framework on next generation power electronics for RES between Norway and China. The project aims at optimally combining the individual scientific competences on PECs of three universities: NTNU, Shanghai Jiaotong (SJTU) and Xi'an Jiaotong (XJTU) Universities. CoNeCt is developed upon the existing informal cooperation between NTNU and SJTU, which will be expanded by involving researchers from XJTU. The project objectives will be materialized by organizing joint research activities in the area of PECs that will contain long and short-term research stays and joint co-supervision of PhD researchers in both countries. Within CoNeCt, research-based and open-access PhD course modules in the fields of grid stability and power semiconductor devices will be developed and offered at NTNU, SJTU and XJTU. A plan for dissemination and communication of the project findings has also been set, while an open workshop will be organized annually. CoNeCt is expected to create a framework for efficient knowledge transfer among the three partner Universities, enhance visibility of the involved institutions and researchers, impact the scientific field by publishing high-quality articles, offer high-quality education to the future power electronics researchers, identify potential innovations, as well as, set the basis for initiating future research cooperation by securing prestigious national and international funding.

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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research