PhD Research Project: Design and control of intermediate converters for hybrid ac / dc distribution

Jul 09, 2018
Oct 01, 2018
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Project description

Historically the vast majority of electrical networks have been based on alternating current (AC), but thanks to advances in semiconductor technology and power electronics, in recent decades the use of direct current networks (DC) begins to be interesting for the integration of storage systems and distributed generation. Some of the advantages are the absence of reactive power, the fact that many storage and generation technologies are based on DC or contain a DC conversion stage, or the fact that it is not necessary to synchronize with the network. However, despite the advantages presented, the substitution of current infrastructures in AC by DC networks seems unfeasible, mainly due to the high cost that would imply, so the future of the electric grid will be an intelligent hybrid AC/DC system, employing advanced control strategies, that combines the advantages of both currents.

The interlinking converters that interconnect AC and DC sub-grids will be one of the key pieces in the distribution of energy in hybrid AC/DC networks, since it is essential that the energy transfer is as efficient as possible. For this, new topologies and control techniques that improve the operating characteristics and energy efficiency of the power electronics converters that interconnect the AC and DC sub-grids of the hybrid systems should be investigated, which will be the main objective of this thesis.


In order to carry out this task, the following partial objectives are proposed:

  • Intelligent and autonomous management of converters or conversion branches connected in parallel.
  • Development of control techniques to improve the behavior of the intermediate converters, reducing their losses and contributing to the regulation of both AC and DC sub-networks for the improvement of the stability and energy quality of the system.
  • Development of high efficiency converter topologies. Preferably modular topologies that provide great flexibility and robustness to the system, being able to be used at different scales—for example, in distribution or domestic networks—and in different scenarios.

Position details

Organization: Mondragon Unibertsitatea. Faculty of Engineering.

Research area: Drive Systems Applied to Traction and the Generation of Electric Energy.

Researcher profile: First Stage Researcher (R1).

Type of contract: Research contract - Temporary.

Job status: Full time.

Location: Arrasate-Mondragon, Gipuzkoa, SPAIN

PhD supervisor: Jon Andoni Barrena, MONDRAGON University (

PhD co-supervisor: Eneko Unamuno, MONDRAGON University (


Funding information

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