The optimal control of power electronic embedded networks in More Electric Aircraft

Dewar, David N (2021) The optimal control of power electronic embedded networks in More Electric Aircraft. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF (Final Version of PhD Thesis after corrections) (Thesis - as examined) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (16MB) | Preview


With the advancement of power electronic technologies over recent decades, there has been an overall increase in the utilisation of distributed generation and power electronic embedded networks in a large sphere of applications. Probably one of the most prominent areas of utilisation of new power electronics embedded systems is the use in power networks onboard military and civilian aircraft. With environmental concerns and increased competition in the civil aviation sector, more aircraft manufactures are replacing and interfacing electrical alternatives over heavier, less efficient and costly pneumatic, hydraulic and mechanical systems. In these modern power systems, the increased proliferation of power electronic converters and distributed generation raises important issues in regards to the performance, stability and robustness between interfaced switching units. These phenomena, such as power electronic sub-system interactions, become even more prominent in micro-grid applications or other low voltage distribution systems where interfaced converters are in close proximity to one another. In More Electric Aircraft (MEA), these interfaced power electronic converters are connected to the same non-stiff low power AC grid, which further increases the interactive effects between converter sub-systems. If these effects are not properly taken into account, then external disturbances to the system at given operating conditions can result in degradation of the system performance, failure in meeting the operating requirements of the grid, or in the worst case, instability of the whole grid. With much research in the area of decreasing the size and weight of systems, there is much literature proposing optimisation methods which decrease the size of filters between interfacing converters. Whilst effectively decreasing the size of these systems, interactions between interfaced converters gets worse, and is often improperly accounted for.

The work presented in this thesis proposes a novel approach to the decentralisation and optimisation of converter controls on a power electronics embedded power network. In order to account for the interactive dynamics between sub-systems in the environment of reduced passive filter networks, all the system dynamics including the interactive terms are modelled globally. An optimal controller design approach based on the H2 optimisation is proposed to synthesise and generate automatically the controller gains for each power electronic sub-system. H2 optimisation is a powerful tool, which not only allows the submission, optimisation and development of closed loop controls for large dynamic systems, but offers the ability to the user to construct the controller for given structures. This enables the development of decentralised controllers for every sub-system with intrinsic knowledge of the closed loop dynamics of every other interconnect sub-system. It is shown through simulation and by experimental validation that this novel approach to grid control optimisation not only can improve overall dynamic performance of all sub-systems over 15traditional methods of design, but can also intrinsically reduce or better yet mitigate against the interactive effects between all converters. In addition, this method of controller design will be shown to not only be scalable to expanding sizes of grids, but the Phase-locked loops (PLLs) integrated to grid connected devices can also be considered in the optimisation procedure. PLLs are widely known to further cause interactive behaviours between grid interfaced devices. Including this into the optimisation also has been validated experimentally to prevent interactions on the grid, and improve performance over traditional design methods. Adaptations to the controller are performed to ensure operation in variable frequency environments (as is common in MEA), as well as methods of single converter optimisation when interfacing to an unknown grid. Additionally some initial research towards an adaption of the H2 controller to incorporate robustness as well as performance into the optimisation procedure is presented with mathematical concepts shown through simulation.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Zanchetta, Pericle
Formentini, Andrea
Wheeler, Patrick
Keywords: More Electric Aircraft, H2 controller, Aircraft design, Power electronics, Aircraft systems.
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Item ID: 64641
Depositing User: Dewar, David Nathan
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2021 04:40
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 04:40

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View