IES Seminar Series - Dr Michael M.C. Merlin


Hudson Beare Building, Classroom 4


Friday, February 9, 2018 - 13:00 to 14:00

Presenter: Dr Michael M.C. Merlin

Title: Modular Power Technology for flexible power conversion and energy networks


HVDC applications provided the ideal ground for new developments in the domain of power electronics by changing the paradigm of classic converter design methods. In this environment, high switching frequency comes with penalty so high that it must be avoided. Besides, the extreme voltage ratings of the switching valves result in the series-connection of power devices as even the best semiconductor switches can meet these voltage levels. Added to these constraints, the relatively small, yet high in absolute scale, cost and burden of the auxiliaries (gate drivers, snubbers…) mean that research efforts were put on the electrical arrangement of all these power semiconductor devices. This has given rise to converter topologies where the full potential of these series-connected power transistors is fully harnessed to yield the generation of truly multilevel-waveforms, supported by computationally-extensive algorithms which control the independent firing of each switching devices. Now, these topologies are extending to lower voltage and power ratings, bringing their benefits to more energy-related applications. Dr MMC Merlin will be discussing what these benefits are and how they could contribute to the future of power conversion.


Dr Michael M.C. Merlin obtained his PhD from Imperial College London in 2013 and started in 2017 as a Lecturer in the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. He is credited for the development of the Alternate Arm Converter, a hybrid topology to the modular multilevel converter, offering DC-side fault blocking capability in a more compact design and with comparable power efficiency, developed in partnership with GE Grid Solutions in Stafford, UK. His research objective consists in expanding the modular power converter technology, especially looking beyond the HVDC domain.

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