Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Towards Miniaturized High-Performance Power Electronics

Dr. Minjie Chen, MIT
E-Quad, B205
Monday, December 14, 2015 - 5:00pm

Miniaturized, high performance power converters can benefit power-electronics-enabled applications by reducing system volume and cost, improving efficiency, and enhancing system functionality and performance. Architectural innovation enables miniaturization and performance improvements. An emerging trend is to use more sophisticated and distributed circuits and controls to leverage the advances of active semiconductor switches over passive components, and realize efficient power conversion with reduced device stress and energy storage requirements. In pursuit of this vision, I will present a hybrid switched-capacitor/-magnetics architecture that can significantly reduce the passive component size in power converters, and at the same time realize high power density, high efficiency, and low cooling requirements. A systematic approach to modeling impedances and current distribution in planar magnetics will also be presented. This approach opens fertile ground for magnetic component optimization and architectural innovation through more sophisticated magnetic design. Finally, I will discuss how architectural innovations in power electronics can benefit efficiency and performance in many power processing and energy management systems, ranging across solar micro-inverters, telecommunication power supplies, and LED drivers.

Minjie Chen received the B.S. degree from Tsinghua University in 2009, and the S.M., E.E., and Ph.D. degrees from MIT in 2012, 2014 and 2015, respectively.  He is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics. His primary research interests are in the design of high performance power electronics for emerging and high-impact applications, including renewable energy, LED lighting, grid-interface power supplies, and miniaturized power management systems. He is the recipient of the MIT E.E. Landsman Fellowship with a focus on power electronics, and a co-winner of an IEEE ECCE best student demonstration award.