Design Cycle for power electronic systems: from simulation to hardware implementation

Industrial Systems have become increasingly complex and hence their design requires extensive new tools and techniques. Computers and computer simulations play an important role in helping the design engineers in finding suitable solutions to the design of modern industrial systems. This Mitacs-Accelerate internship aims to improve the methods and techniques used in the computer aided design of power electronic systems incorporating optimization and combining it with a simulation program.

Robust Efficient Estimation of Energy Use

Predicting hourly building energy use from environmental input variables can help to increase energy efficiency of buildings, and so contribute to global sustainability. Small Energy Group, a Vancouver-based energy management software company has been working on this challenging prediction problem. Small Energy Group has collected energy data on particular buildings so that the building owners and managers can identify ways to lower their energy consumption.

An Improved Wide-Band Dynamic System Equivalent Technique for Real-Time Digital Simulators

Real-time simulators are increasingly important in power system studies and equipment tests by manufacturers, universities, research institutes and power system utilities. Yet their capability for accurately simulating some aspects of very large systems is limited by the burden of additional hardware requirements. Thus, the aim of this project is to develop an improved wide-band system equivalent technique for the real-time digital simulator (RTDS) that will improve its capabilities on super-large power systems.

Prediction of Power Outage Locations Due to Weather and Tree Impacts on BC Transmission Corporation Transmission Lines

Trees uprooted or broken during severe wind events routinely cause power outages in BC. Some researchers believe that climate change will result in more storms in BC. We will investigate the weather conditions that lead to strong winds. Using BC Transmission Corporation’s power outage database, we will examine patterns of outages in space and time, identify the weather, terrain and vegetation conditions associated with these outages, and produce models that will predict the likelihood of an outage at a given location.

High Voltage DC Transmission Using Voltage-Source Converters

Voltage-source converters (VSC) that use self-commutated valves have been used for such applications as electric motor drives. Recently with the development of switches with high voltage and current ratings, these converters have been considered for high-power transmission as well. This internship with Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba’s major energy utility, aims at developing accurate computer simulation models for DC transmission systems using voltage-source converters.

Numerical Weather Modelling for Predicting Hazardous Situations in Power Transmission Networks

The goal of this internship project is to develop a system for numerical modelling of the weather conditions contributing to the heightened risk of transmission system outages. A regular weather forecasting will be enhanced by specific models of the risk increasing factors, such as strong winds, freezing rain or lightening. The enhanced model will help to identify the time and location where hazardous situations are likely to occur, allowing users to make informed decisions regarding potential risk sectors and planning future expansions of existing transmission networks.

Improved Models of Electric Machines for Real-Time Digital Simulations

Real-time digital simulators are valuable tools for non-destructively studying the transient behavior of electric machinery under stressed conditions. RTDS Technologies is a world-leader in the manufacturing of such simulators and is continually striving to improve its repertoire of available models of electrical equipment. The intern’s project will use special modeling methods to develop a new, more accurate model of electric machines (motors and generators) that accurately represent inter-winding faults.

Modelling Energy Prices

Direct Energy is a leading retailer of energy and energy solutions for both residential and business customers in North America. In partnership with the company, the intern will work on energy data mining and analyses using gas and power data. The intern’s analyses will include analysis of natural gas storage and its impact (if any) on price momentum, the relationship between power and gas (heat-rate analysis) and some fundamental analysis such as relationships between HDD, storage gas, basis and fixed prices.

Investigation of the Benefits of Resource Diversification with an Energy Portfolio Dominated by Storage Hydro

This project will investigate the relative financial benefit of adding different types of power generating resources to the BC Hydro energy portfolio over time. The analysis will consider various drivers of financial risk that influence this evaluation such as commodity prices, energy demand, and water inflows. Appropriate measures of risk will be considered to aid in evaluating the comparison of alternate resource additions. A spreadsheet model will be constructed to complete the analysis.

Grown-in Defects Modeling of InSb Crystals and Computation

Semiconductor materials are essential for today’s fast growing electro-optic and computer industries and semiconductor crystal growth is a key stage in the manufacturing process. There is constant market pressure to increase the size and quality of crystals so that more and better devices can be put on a single wafer. The most widely used crystal growth technique is the Czochralski (Cz) method, in which a semiconductor crystal is grown at the tip of a seed-crystal while the seed is slowly extracted from a pool of molten material.

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