Embedded Software IP & Technology Transfer in Power Electronics Applications

Monitoring, Fault Diagnosis and Increasing the Lifetime & Reliability of PV Systems

Solar panel on a red roof reflecting the sun and the cloudless blue sky

Have you checked the November 2015 issue of IEEE IES Transactions on Industrial Electronics ? There is a special section on the precise topic of “Monitoring, Prognosis and Techniques for Increasing the Lifetime & Reliability of Photovoltaic Systems“. Here are the titles of the seven articles selected for this special section:

1- “Operation of cascaded H-bridge multilevel converters for large-scale photovoltaic power plants under bridge failures”

2- “Online two-section PV array fault diagnosis with optimized voltage sensor locations”

3- “Photovoltaic systems reliability improvement by real-time FPGA-based switch failure diagnosis and fault tolerant DC-DC converter”

4- “Model-based degradation analysis of photovoltaic modules through series resistance estimation”

5- “Dual-Kalman-filter-based identification and real-time optimization of PV systems”

6- “A survey on mismatching and aging of PV modules: The closed loop”

7- “Innovative automated control system for PV fields inspection and remote control”

In the context of the rise of PV systems for solar power generation and also the Internet-of-things (IoT), the timing for this publication is very good. This is exactly the type of information that needs to be generated by controllers (and sent to operators via IoT) to maximize energy-efficiency of PV systems AND also reduce any chance of unplanified downtime leading to loss of revenues.

FPGAs and power electronics in the IEEE TII of 11/2014

A new issue of the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics is now available and here are the articles related to FPGA and power electronics/control applications:

FPGA Implementation of Model Predictive Control With Constant Switching Frequency for PMSM Drives

“Field programmable gate array (FPGA) implementation of a model predictive control with constant switching frequency (MPC-CSF) for a permanent magnet synchronous machine (PMSM) is proposed. The basic finite states MPC (FS-MPC) can be combined with a pulsewidth modulation (PWM) modulator because of an effective cost function optimization algorithm in which voltage vectors are dynamically selected and calculated through iteration based on the idea similar to dichotomy. Using model-based design (MBD), MPC-CSF is implemented on an FPGA with parallel and pipeline processing techniques in short execution time. Functionality simulation analysis presents that MPC-CSF is much robust to parameter variations. Experimental results illustrate that MPC-CSF has good dynamic performance for PMSM drives.”

MPSoCs and Multicore Microcontrollers for Embedded PID Control: A Detailed Study

“This paper presents different multiprocessor implementations of the proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller using two technologies: 1) field programmable gate array (FPGA)-based multiprocessor system-on-chip (MPSoC); and 2) multicore microcontrollers (MCUs). Techniques to implement a parallelized PID controller, a multi-PID controller, and a self-tuning PID controller are proposed. These techniques are verified using hardware (HW) in the loop (HIL) simulations. Then, the paper presents a detailed case study of an embedded real-time (RT) self-tuning PID controller for a 1-degree-of-freedom (1-DOF) aerodynamical system. This includes controller design, parameters tuning, and implementation using a multiprocessor system. Results proved the effectiveness of the proposed techniques to improve performance and functionality. It is shown that customizing HW and software (SW) within MPSoCs provides higher RT performance. Moreover, using multicore MCUs can reduce design time, implementation time, and cost, while keeping adequate performance. Therefore, it is possible to realize and implement complex RT embedded controllers that employ advanced control algorithms in rapid, effective, and cost-efficient fashion.”

Physics-Based Device-Level Power Electronic Circuit Hardware Emulation on FPGA

“Accurate models of power electronic devices are necessary for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulators. This paper proposes a digital hardware emulation of device-level models for the insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) and the power diode on the field programmable gate array (FPGA). The hardware emulation utilizes detailed physics-based nonlinear models for these devices, and features a fully paralleled implementation using an accurate floating-point data representation in VHSIC hardware description language (VHDL) language. A dc–dc buck converter circuit is emulated to validate the hardware IGBT and diode models, and the nonlinear circuit simulation process. The captured oscilloscope results demonstrate high accuracy of the emulator in comparison to the offline simulation of the original system using Saber software.”