Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering


Solar energy-based microgrids are increasingly promising due to their many features, such as being environmentally friendly and having low operating costs. Power electronic converters, filters, and transformers are the key components to integrate the solar photovoltaic (PV) systems with the microgrids. The power electronic converters play an important role to reduce the size of the filter circuit and eliminate the use of the bulky and heavy traditional power frequency step-up transformer. These power converters also play a vital role to integrate the energy storage systems such as batteries and the superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) unit in a solar PV power-based microgrid. However, the performance of these power converters depends upon the switching technique and the power converter configuration. The switching techniques can improve the power quality, i.e. lower total harmonic distortion at the converter output waveform, reduce the converter power loss, and can effectively utilize the dc bus voltage, which helps to improve the power conversion efficiency of the power electronic converter. The power converter configuration can reduce the size of the power converter and make the power conversion system more efficient. In addition to the advanced switching technique, a supervisory control can also be integrated with these power converters to ensure the optimal power flow within the microgrid.

First, this thesis reviews different existing power converter topologies with their switching techniques and control strategies for the grid integration of solar PV systems. To eliminate the use of the bulky and heavy line frequency step-up transformer to integrate solar PV systems to medium voltage grids, the high frequency magnetic linkbased medium voltage power converter topologies are discussed and compared based on their performance parameters. Moreover, switching and conduction losses are calculated to compare the performance of the switching techniques for the magnetic-linked power converter topologies.

In this thesis, a new pulse width modulation technique has been proposed to integrate the SMES system with the solar PV system-based microgrid. The pulse width modulation technique is designed to provide reactive power into the network in an effective way. The modulation technique ensures lower total harmonic distortion (THD), lower switching loss, and better utilization of dc-bus voltage. The simulation and experimental results show the effectiveness of the proposed pulse width modulation technique.

In this thesis, an improved version of the previously proposed switching technique has been designed for a transformer-less PV inverter. The improved switching technique can ensure effective active power flow into the network. A new switching scheme has been proposed for reactive power control to avoid unnecessary switching faced by the traditional switching technique in a transformer-less PV inverter. The proposed switching technique is based on the peak point value of the grid current and ensures lower switching loss compared to other switching techniques.

In this thesis, a new magnetic-linked multilevel inverter has been designed to overcome the issues faced by the two-level inverters and traditional multilevel inverters. The proposed multilevel inverter utilizes the same number of electronic switches but fewer capacitors compared to the traditional multilevel inverters. The proposed multilevel inverter solves the capacitor voltage balancing and utilizes 25% more of the dc bus voltage compared to the traditional multilevel inverter, which reduces the power rating of the dc power source components and also extends the input voltage operating range of the inverter.

An improved version magnetic-linked multilevel inverter is proposed in this thesis with a model predictive control technique. This multilevel inverter reduces both the number of switches and capacitors compared to the traditional multilevel inverter. This multilevel inverter also solves the capacitor voltage balancing issue and utilizes 50% more of the dc bus voltage compared to the traditional multilevel inverter.

Finally, an energy management system has been designed for the developed power converter and control to achieve energy resiliency and minimum operating cost of the microgrid. The model predictive control-based energy management system utilizes the predicted load data, PV insolation data from web service, electricity price data, and battery state of charge data to select the battery charging and discharging pattern over the day. This model predictive control-based supervisory control with the advanced power electronic converter and control makes the PV energy-based microgrid more efficient and reliable.

This thesis is unavailable until Friday, July 01, 2022



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.