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Plenary Speaker

The Smart Transformer: Providing Service to the Electric Network and Addressing the Reliability Challenges Through Power Routing
Prof. Marco Liserre
Kiel University, Germany
IEEE Fellow

Abstract: The increasing penetration of renewable energy systems and charging stations is challenging the distribution grids. The Smart Transformer is a power electronics-based transformer with control and communication functionalities, which can avoid or defer the costly network reinforcement required in both the LV and MV grids. The Smart Transformer allows hybrid and meshed network operation also with variable voltage profile, being able to integrate more effectively storage and offer service to the MV and HV grids (like frequency support).  Laboratory experiments through Hardware in the Loop (HIL) and Power HIL with a special grid emulator and a downscaled ST prototype developed at the Chair of Power Electronics of Kiel University will provide insights in the ST operation.

The Smart Transformer must be realized with a modular structure to provide scalability and higher availability through fault tolerance and reconfigurability to the secondary substations. The design and control of a complex modular structure could result in efficiency and reliability challenges because of the higher number of components respect to a non-modular one. Power routing allows to exploit the modularity to transform this possible weakness in a point of strength. The basic principle of power routing is loading more those subsystems with longer remaining useful lifetime and loading less those which are nearer to their wear-out, also for better scheduling and even delaying maintenance. Several innovative modulation and control techniques allow the implementation of power routing and graph theory allows a holistic modelling of the Smart Transformer to take efficiency and reliability into consideration in the control.  These features are proven showing results of many prototypes also built using SiC devices. The keynote summarizes the main achievement of several excellence and strategic projects, like the EU ERC Consolidator Grant "HEART" or the German governmental Copernicus Initiative "ENSURE", which did result in 125 publications (50 journal ones), 8 IEEE Awards, several industrial cooperation like the LV-Engine project led by Scottish Power, which will test the Smart Transformer in the electrical grid.

Biography: Marco Liserre (S’00-M’02-SM’07-F’13) received the MSc and PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the Bari Polytechnic, respectively in 1998 and 2002. He has been Associate Professor at Bari Polytechnic and from 2012 Professor in reliable power electronics at Aalborg University (Denmark). From 2013 he is Full Professor and he holds the Chair of Power Electronics at Kiel University (Germany). He has published 450 technical papers (more than 1/3 of them in international peer-reviewed journals) and a book. These works have received 30000 citations. Marco Liserre is listed in ISI Thomson report “The world’s most influential scientific minds” from 2014.

He has received the IES 2009 Early Career Award, the IES 2011 Anthony J. Hornfeck Service Award, the 2014 Dr. Bimal Bose Energy Systems Award, the 2011 Industrial Electronics Magazine best paper award and the Third Prize paper award by the Industrial Power Converter Committee at ECCE 2012, 2012, 2017 IEEE PELS Sustainable Energy Systems Technical Achievement Award, the 2018 IEEE-IES Mittelmann Achievement Award and the Second Place Prize Paper Award for 2018 in the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. He did become IEEE Fellow at the age of 38 and got the highest IEEE-IES Award at the age of 44.