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Power Systems Engineering

A specific focus onelectronic converters and motors as may be found on military vessels was re-established by the ECE Department in 1991 with an initial investment from NAVSEA03 and matching funds from the school. Since 1992, more than seventy students, overwhelmingly US Navy, have graduated from NPS via the completion of a power systems thesis. These graduates are populating billets responsible for Navy decisions and acquisitions concerning the electric warship. Most of the theses efforts required hardware construction as well as simulation validation for completion.

Since that time faculty involved in power systems engineering has been actively involved in research projects concerning naval shipboard power, which include traditional high power dc/dc converters, soft-switching inverters and phase-controlled rectifiers along with more exotic topologies such as Science Applications International Corporation’s (SAIC) Pulse Frequency Modulation (PFM) technology. The PFM, now known as the AC-Link, is a commercial product line via Princeton Power Systems (PPS). Aspects of the above research comprise both control and hardware development. Other past research projects included funding from Integrated Power System (IPS), Power Electronic Building Blocks (PEBB) and Integrated Fight-Through Power (IFTP) programs.

Current funding in the power systems area includes ONR’s Fuel Cell program and ongoing development efforts for DDX. Research efforts have also produced a DSP controller for a 625kW fuel cell inverter with a power-section constructed by PSG, and the development of a 36.5MW homopolar motor drive are under way.

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