Grainger CEME

Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics

“Megawatt-Scale Power-Electronic-Integrated Generator with Controlled DC Output,” ARPA-E $2 Million Grant Awarded to Professors Arijit Banerjee, Alejandro Domínguez-García, George Gross and Kiruba Haran

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Megawatt-Scale Power-Electronic-Integrated Generator with Controlled DC Output ARPA-E $2 Million Grant Awared to Professors Arijit Banerjee, Alejandro Dominguez-Garcia, George Gross and KIruba HaranHigh efficiency, power density, and reliability are critical in megawatt-class wind energy conversion systems. Operating over a limited speed range, the generator ac output is usually rectified first to dc, enabling subsequent connection to an electric grid. Conventional high-power ac-to-dc conversion architectures predominantly rely on using fully controlled power-electronic switches, making the system bulky, lossy, and less reliable. Our objective is to create the world’s most efficient, reliable, and compact wind energy conversion system through an alternative approach: integrating a multi-port permanent-magnet synchronous generator (PMSG) with series-stacked power converters made of active and passive rectifiers. The active rectifier, made of fully controlled power-electronic switches such as IGBTs or SiC MOSFETs, regulates the dc bus voltage while passive rectifiers, made of diodes, Megawatt-Scale Power-Electronic-Integrated Generator with Controlled DC Output ARPA-E $2 Million Grant Awared to Professors Arijit Banerjee, Alejandro Dominguez-Garcia, George Gross and KIruba Haranprocesses bulk of the power. The passive rectifiers operate with a high input power factor by eliminating the filter capacitors at the dc output. Theoretical analysis shows that the active rectifier processes only a maximum of 25% of the rated power while the PMSG operates in a speed range similar to the conventional doubly-fed induction generator—the workhorse of modern wind power industry.

This grant builds on research funded by the CEME to support Professor Banerjee’s student Phuc Huynh’s work studying efficient off-shore wind generators. It is supporting him and the work of four additional CEME students. (Description from ARPA-E abstract.)

The Illini Solar Car Team Won Fourth Place at the 2019 Formula Sun Grand Prix

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Over the last year, the Illini Solar Car team has worked hard designing and manufacturing a second-generation vehicle. They improved its operations and competitiveness resulting in a fourth-place finish at the 2019 Formula Sun Grand Prix. This race marked a successful finish for the team’s first car, Argo, as it placed right behind three newer cars with better technology. Moving forward, this suggests continued success and improvement as the team works to complete its second vehicle to compete in the 2020 American Solar Challenge. The next generation vehicle has been designed to be more efficient in many ways with a significantly improved solar array and many other technological improvements, including a more reliable battery, new driver interfaces and a more efficient motor and power system. In total, the Illini Solar Car team has continuously improved through its first five years and is set to perform even better in the future. (See Curriculum and Laboratory Development on page 25 for more information on the solar car class.)

GLEE – Girls Learning Electrical Engineering

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GLEE - Girls Learning Electrical EngineeringFor the last three years, Professors Arijit Banerjee and Subhonmesh Bose (Bose) have given interactive presentations on power systems and power conversion to sophomore through senior high school girls during GLEE summer camps held at the U of I. GLEE, a week-long program which showcases ECE, was created by and is coordinated by Professor Lynford Goddard. Campers explore how their lives are affected by electrical engineering and how it addresses socially relevant issues.

Arijit and Bose teamed up to challenge the girls on ways power systems are used in a rock concert, in air

GLEE - Girls Learning Electrical Engineering

ECE Professor Lynford Goddard

conditioning, for Instagram, the internet, and preparing breakfast. They then considered power sources and electromechanical energy conversion, e.g., using moving water to run a generator to provide electricity to send power to customers, or using energy from eating breakfast to pedal a bike hooked up to light bulbs to turn them on. The girls realized they could not consider living without electrical power and wondered how it could be made accessible to everyone in the world.

Bose talked about the history of electricity—Edison, Tesla, and the battle of the currents, and the need to step up and step down current to transmit it over long distances. He addressed reliability, which involves a delicate balance of demand and supply at all times, since we cannot keep an electricity inventory.
Arijit led the girls to experiment with magnets and magnetic fields to feel magnetic force and test different materials, including copper, aluminum, and plastic. He told them about the magnetic strip on credit cards.GLEE - Girls Learning Electrical Engineering

Bose described the U.S. grid’s three giant systems—Western, Eastern and Texas with its 160,000 miles of thigh voltage transmission—and a generation portfolio moving from coal and natural gas to renewables, including solar, wind, and hydro. The challenge is to economically move the generated renewable power, e.g., wind in Kansas, to high-demand locations.

Breaking News – ECE Building Awarded LEED Platinum Certification

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The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering building at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been awarded LEED Platinum certification. ECE achieved this certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, sustainable construction and waste management, and indoor environmental quality.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes, and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. LEED Platinum certification is the highest rating awarded by the USGBC. The rating considers construction materials, processes, water management, lighting, ventilation, energy, and a long list of attributes for sustainability and quality of life.

“Illinois ECE’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “LEED was created to make the world a better place and revolutionize the built environment by providing everyone with a healthy, green and high performing buildings. Illinois ECE serves as a prime example of how the work of innovative building projects can use local solutions to make a global impact on the environment. Buildings that achieve LEED certification are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment and reducing operating costs while prioritizing sustainable practices. Because of Illinois ECE, we are increasing the number of green buildings and getting closer to USGBC’s goal to outpace conventional buildings, while being environmentally and socially responsible and improving the quality of life for generations to come.”

This news release was excerpted from written by ECE Communications Coordinator Ryann Monahan.

Executive Dean Philip Krein Won the 2018 Zhejiang West Lake Friendship Award

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On the afternoon of October 30, the 2018 ceremony of the Zhejiang government West Lake Friendship Award was held in the Great Hall of the People in Zhejiang. Prof. Philip Krein, Executive Dean of ZJUI, attended the ceremony on behalf of the awarded experts. Philip Krein Zhejiang West Lake Friendship AwardYuan Jiajun, Governor of Zhejiang province, welcomed them before the ceremony and delivered a speech that expressed his warm congratulations while appreciating their long-term contributions to Zhejiang’s economic and social development. Governor Yuan pointed out that actively introducing foreign talent is an essential part of China’s policy of Reform and Opening Up. He hopes that experts will continue contributing to Zhejiang development.

Vice Governor Wang Wenxu awarded certificates and medals to Prof. Krein, after which Prof. Krein delivered a keynote speech on behalf of the awarded experts. In the speech, he first expressed his gratitude to the Zhejiang government for Philip Krein Zhejiang West Lake Friendship Award Keynotethis honor and then talked about his feelings based on his working experience. Since the establishment of ZJU-UIUC Institute, it has trained for Zhejiang province a group of outstanding undergraduates, who provide technological support for regional development. According to Prof. Krein, the Institute will further boost Zhejiang’s innovation and entrepreneurship development strategy, providing technical and personnel support for the modernization of Zhejiang province.

The West Lake Friendship Award is the highest award established by the Zhejiang government in recognition of outstanding contributions made by foreign experts in terms of the Philip Krein Zhejiang West Lake Friendship Awardeconomic and social developments and personnel training of Zhejiang Province. Established in 1997, the award ceremony is held every two years. This year there were fifty expert awardees.

Chenhuan Jiang translated the ceremony. This article was excerpted from

PM-Assisted Synchronous Reluctance Motor as a Compressor Application

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MS student Byung Hoon (BH) Min with advisor K. Haran

The Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics at the University of Illinois has been collaborating with Prof. Jian-Xin Shen of Zhejiang University (ZJU) on high-speed compressor motor research. BH Min spent one summer month at ZJU to interact with the ZJU team. During this past year, the team selected a compressor application and obtained system requirements, extended high-frequency electrical machine sizing tools, down-selected to the most attractive machine type, and developed detailed models. The UIUC and ZJU teams worked closely to identify a suitable first application. This collaboration led to industry collaboration with Johnson Controls Incorporated, focusing on an HVAC system. The team then developed windage and ac-loss models for application to the compressor motor, and with the input from the ZJU team, we plan to refine our mechanical model. The team also plans to further refine selected models for the HVAC system as well as explore thermal and rotor-dynamic aspects. Our team plans to build a prototype model for proof-of-demonstration. This research is supported by the Zhejiang University-University of Illinois Joint Engineering Institute.

BH Min frictionless compressor and flux finite element analysis model of PMSM

Figure 8. 3-D diagram of frictionless compressor [1] (left) and flux finite element analysis model of PMSM motor design done by UIUC for HVAD compressor (right)

1. Crowther, H. and Smithart, E. 2004. “Frictionless Compressor Technology,” HPAC Engineering (January).

ECE 464 – The Delphi Expedition to Kokomo, Indiana

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Arijit Banerjee's ECE 464 class trip to Delphi Technologies in Kokomo, IN

On November 9, 2018, Professor Banerjee took his ECE 464 class to Delphi Technologies (see above). Students were asked to record their impressions. Following are a few excerpts.
“I got to learn a lot of new and amazing things about the applications of power electronics in real life. We got to witness the whole process: from design and verification to manufacturing of the components.”
“The highlight of my trip was when one of the employees and UIUC alums showed us the EV1 and told us the history about the car. It inspired me to research more about the car and even watch the documentary he recommended, “Who Killed the Electric Vehicle?”
“[T]he EV1. This powerful relic is one that captured my mind as a boy, and drove me to question the standard conventions we are told to uphold. Here it sat before me.”
“What I enjoyed most was seeing their high-voltage testing area, seeing just how dense they pack their inverters and learning about all the challenges of cooling the IGBT devices … from a real-world point of view with design constraints, costs and characteristics of real devices.”
“I learned how safety and reliability for automo[biles] are im-portant. Delphi invest[s a] huge amount of budget and labor to make their product reliable, safe, and long-lasting … One of the most impressive points was their failure analysis. They perform X-ray scanning, hard-cut using epoxy, ultrasonic scanning in water, etc., to find and confirm the causes of failure.”

NASA Annual Review Haran and Pilawa Groups Present at NASA Annual Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio (NASA Glenn Research Center)

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NASA Glen visit - Haran/Pilawa group visit

Back Row (Left to Right): Yovahn Hoole, Dongsu Lee, Thomas Foulkes, Chris Barth, Andy Provenza, Robert Pilawa-Podgurski
Middle Row (Left to Right): Peter Xia, Sam Coday, Nate Pallo, Thanatheepan Balachandran, Byung Hoon Min, and Andy Yoon
Front Row (Left to Right): Xiaolong Zhang, Melody Yi, Samith Sirimanna, Yuyao Wang, Sherry Yu, Aaron Anderson
Note: Andy Provenza is the NASA technical manager working with the Haran and Pilawa students on their compact, lightweight motor and drive development efforts.

Tour of Xerion R&D and Manufacturing Center in Kettering, Ohio

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IEEE PES/PELS/IAS visited Xerion Advanced Battery Corps R&D and Manufacturing Center

Left to Right: Jason Reber, Samith Sirimanna, Yovahn Hoole, Xiaolong Zhang, Dongsu Lee, Melody Yi, Chris Barth, Thanatheepan Balachandran, Andy Yoon, John Cook, Yuyao Wang, Peter Xiao, Byung Hoon Min,
Sherry Yu, Thomas Foulkes, and Aaron Anderson

IEEE PES/PELS/IAS members had the privilege of touring the Xerion Advanced Battery Corps R&D and Manufacturing Center on October 16, 2018. Dr. John Cook, Xerion’s director of R&D, walked the students through each step of the process for manufacturing traditional and Xerion’s advanced batteries. This tour provided valuable insight about the challenges for developing, fabricating, and packaging high-performance batteries. Jason Reber, who is leading the effort to scale up the battery manufacturing process at Xerion, discussed the difficulty of manufacturing and packaging batteries at a large scale and shared how the Xerion team is tackling these problems. Jason gave the students a behind-the-scenes look at the expanding manufacturing capabilities that Xerion is bringing online. The ultra-fast charging batteries being developed by Xerion have strong potential to become an enabler for the more-electric aircraft for which many UIUC students are working to design power converters and electric machines. This tour also provided an inspirational example of the amazing opportunities and benefits of pursuing a career in a start-up company.
Contributed by Thomas Foulkes

Haran’s Group Visits Johnson Controls

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Professor Haran's students Sherry Yu and Samith Sirimanna in front of JCI chiller

Sherry Yu and Samith Sirimanna in front of chiller

In January, Professor Haran’s group visited Johnson Controls (JCI) where they met with engineering leads on their jointproject,“Development of High Efficiency Compressor Motor Design Project – Phase I Summary and Phase II Launching.”

JCI is to provide specifications on the number of speed cycles, fatigue life, windage loss-model validation, and cooling results: scaling down the thermals from sample shown for the prototype, along with best estimates in rotor average/max temperature, copper average/max temperature, and shaft size: possible reduction on shaft diameter in rotor to get more space for rotor slots.

Kiruba’s group is to work on scalability of the designs, and return with a detailed plan that takes into account the impact of the air gap and switching frequency.

Professor Haran's group at Johnson Controls

Left to right: Students Samith Sirimanna, Sherry Yu, Byung Hoon (BH) Min and post-doc Dongsu Lee with JCI personnel

The compressor they are designing for is a part in the chiller (above). The chiller in active use  supplies chilled water (6–12 °C) to the building.