Boroyevich, Dushan; Wang, Fred; Wyk, J. Daan van; Lee, Fred. C.; Burgos, Rolando (Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA)
Liu, Qian (GE Global Research Center, Niskayuna, NY, USA)
This paper illustrates some of the concepts that are being considered at CPES for the future research on power electronics integration in electric energy distribution systems. Although it has long been argued that power electronics converters can help improve system controllability, reliability, size, and overall energy and power efficiency, their penetration in power systems is still quite low. The often-cited barriers of higher cost and lower reliability of the power converters are quite high if power electronics is used as direct, one-to-one, replacement for the existing electromechanical equipment. However, if the whole power distribution system were designed as a system of controllable converters, the overall system cost and reliability could actually improve, as is currently the case at low power levels within computer and telecom equipment. Several ideas on possible directions for improving system architectures, power flow control, protection, stability, and on dealing with the subsystem interactions and electromagnetic compatibility, are presented.