Robust and Fault-Tolerant Control of the Electrical Drive adopted for AWE Systems

The goal of this PhD topic is to specify and model the whole electrical drive system for the AWE ground station and to design, analyse and implement robust and fault-tolerant low-level control strategies for current/torque and power control during pumping mode.

Project

The electrical drive plays a vital role within AWE, where it is responsible of translating the Kite's motion into useable electrical power exported to the electrical grid and local loads. The objective is to specify and model the whole electrical drive system (i.e. motor/generator and back-to-back converter/power electronics) for the AWE ground station and to design, analyse and implement robust and fault-tolerant low-level control strategies for current/torque and power control during pumping mode. Based on dynamics, robustness and efficiency requirements, which are to be defined (also with the help of the network partners), the optimal low-level control strategies will be selected and implemented for this application (e.g. field/voltage oriented control, direct torque/power control or model predictive torque/power control). According to the specifications of the high-level flight and power controllers, the control strategy will be optimised for those reference inputs, such as reference torque, reference (active/reactive) power, reference speed and/or reference tether force. Moreover, fault-tolerant control of the electrical drive system is essential to guarantee a safe operation of the AWE system (e.g. to facilitate a safe retrieval of the airborne parts at any time) also in the presence of low-level system or sensor faults (safe fail modes): Therefore, (i) precise models of back-to-back converter and electrical machine are to be developed and implemented which are capable of detecting system failures automatically and (ii) sensorless control strategies are to be derived for the whole electrical drive system to achieve a higher level of system redundancy.

PhD Researcher

Hisham Magdy Eldeeb, got his B.Sc. (Distinction with honours) and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering (Division: Electrical Power and Machines) in 2011 and 2014, respectively, from Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt. He is currently a PhD candidate at TU Munich, Germany within the research group "Control of Renewable Energy Systems" (CRES) and also enrolled within the AWESCO ITN H2020 EU project since September 2015. During (February 2013 - June 2015), he worked as Research Associate at College of Engineering, Doha, Qatar University. Hired on a 1M$ project, the objective was to apply new control methods, aspects and topologies in the field of power electronics for grid-tied applications and energy storage systems with experimental prototypes. The study covered operation during normal and abnormal conditions ensuring high performance and reliability, which aimed at pushing the boundaries of Green Energy penetration in Qatar. His research interests are digital control of power electronics, electrical drives, grid-connected converters, power quality, smart grids, and airborne wind energy.

Supervisor

Christoph Hackl received the Dr.-Ing. (Ph.D.) degree from the Technische Universität München (TUM) in 2012. His interdisciplinary Ph.D. project "Non-identifier based adaptive control in mechatronics" was supervised by Prof. Dierk Schröder (Institute for Electrical Drive Systems, TUM) and Prof. Achim Ilchmann (Institute of Mathematics, Analysis and Systems theory, TU Ilmenau). In 2014, he was appointed Junior Research Fellow of the group "Control of Renewable Energy Systems (CRES)" at the Munich School of Engineering (MSE), TUM. Currently, he is supervising 6 PhD students and mentoring 4 PhD students. His main research interests are nonlinear, adaptive and optimal control of mechatronic and renewable energy systems.