Introduction of a State-of-the-Art Power Electronics Design Automation Tool in Hitachi ABB Power Grids – Challenges and Best Practices


Speaker: Ralph M. Burkart

Date: February 25th 11am ET

Abstract: Optimized product performance, low R&D costs and short time to market are important prerequisites for an industrial company to be competitive. In this respect, the availability of powerful, versatile and easy to use design tools is typically a key enabler. This webinar talk presents the example of the introduction of a state-of-the-art tool for automated design and optimization of power electronic converters in the R&D units of Hitachi ABB Power Grids. In the first part, the talk will present the main principles and technical features of the design tool. Important aspects like the workflow, the available optimization variables and parameters as well as the search algorithm will be covered. The second part of the talk focuses on the practical aspects of the introduction and dissemination of the design tool.  The challenges of empowerment and motivation that are key ingredients to establish a sustainable and broad user base will be addressed. A palette of organizational and technical measures will be presented that helped us to overcome these challenges and successfully establish the tool.

Bio: Ralph M. Burkart (S’11-M’16) received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical  engineering from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, in 2011 and 2016, respectively.

During his Ph.D. studies at the Power Electronic Systems Laboratory, ETH Zurich, he was working on advanced multi-objective optimization techniques and multi-physics modeling of components for comparative benchmarking of power electronic converter systems. His research interests included in particular the analysis of WBG semiconductors and different converter modulation schemes on the system-level converter performance as well as the accurate modeling of magnetic components.

In 2016, Dr. Burkart joined the ABB Corporate Research Center in Baden-Dättwil, Switzerland. He was working on the design and optimization of Si and SiC MV converters for PV and drives applications, both as a researcher and as project leader. Since November 2019, Dr. Burkart is with Hitachi ABB Power Grids Research in Baden-Dättwil where he leads a research team working in the areas of EMC design, medium frequency transformers and gas circuit breakers.