Special Session: Circuit Breaker and Protection for DC System

Sebastian Nielebock received the Dipl.-Ing. degree from the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Germany, in 2005. During his studies, he focused on power electronics, computer science and signal electronics. As part of the degree, he starts working for the Siemens AG 2004 as internship and finish his diploma thesis on wireless power transfer for excitation devices of superconducting machines. Since 2005 he is working for the Siemens AG in different position as Engineer, Portfolio Manager and actual Research Group Head for Power Electronic Systems.  The main research areas are wide band gap converter systems for industrial applications, high power DC/DC converters in the low and medium voltage range, solid state circuit breaker and DC protection systems. He has published several papers in international journals and conference proceedings and filed 10+ patents.

Presentation title: DC protection concepts for industrial use cases

Dr. David Smith obtained his PhD from the University of Strathclyde studying optical diagnostics of low-temperature noble gas plasmas to determine the kinetics for collisional processes involving excited-state atoms. After a post-doc at the University of Wisconsin, he moved to General Electric Research where he has spent the past 19 years developing novel materials, devices, and processes for a diverse range of technologies covering GE’s lighting, healthcare, aviation, energy, and renewables businesses. His technical areas of expertise include non-equilibrium plasmas, magnetron sputtering, chemical vapor deposition, electronic and optical device physics, and nanomaterials with 17 journal publications and 12 patents filed. He is currently the principal investigator of an ARPA-E BREAKERS project on MVDC circuit breakers based on gas discharge tube technology.

Presentation title: Gas discharge tube as an inline medium voltage direct current circuit breaker


Dr. John Shen is Grainger Chair Professor of Electrical and Power Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology. He has more than 30 years of industrial, academic, and entrepreneurial experience in power electronics and power semiconductor devices with over 300 publications and 19 issued U.S. patents in these areas. He has been involved in DC circuit breaker research since 2013, and is an inventor of several patents and an author of 25 publications on the subject. He serves as PI of an ARPA-E CIRCUITS project on low-voltage solid-state circuit breakers and co-PI on an ARPA-E BREAKERS project on MVDC hybrid circuit breakers. He is a Fellow of IEEE and the U.S. National Academy of Inventors.

Presentation title: DC Circuit Breakers: What’s Wrong with Existing SSCB and HCB Technologies?


Zhanqing Yu received his B. Sc. and Ph. D. Degree from the Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University in Beijing in July 2003, July 2008, respectively. After graduation, he became a post doctor and lecturer at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University in Beijing in July 2008 and July 2010 respectively, an associate professor in the same department in December 2012.

He is currently the Deputy Director of Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University. He is also the Deputy Director of DC Research Center, Energy Internet Research Institute, Tsinghua University. He has participated in several projects sponsored by High-Tech R&D Program (863 Program), National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), National Natural Science Foundation of China. His research interests include DC grid, major equipment, power semiconductor devices. He has published more than 200 journal and conference papers, and owns more than 120 patents.

Presentation title: Key technology and Development of Extra HVDC Circuit breaker