Designing Power Converter-Based Energy Management Systems with a Hierarchical Optimization Method


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Virginia Tech


This dissertation introduces a hierarchical optimization framework for power converter-based energy management systems, with a primary focus on weight minimization. Emphasizing modularity and scalability, the research systematically tackles the challenges in optimizing these systems, addressing complex design variables, couplings, and the integration of heterogeneous models. The study begins with a comparative evaluation of various metaheuristic optimization methods applied to power inductors and converters, including genetic algorithm, particle swarm optimization, and simulated annealing. This is complemented by a global sensitivity analysis using the Morris method to understand the impact of different design variables on the design objectives and constraints in power electronics. Additionally, a thorough evaluation of different modeling methods for key components is conducted, leading to the validation of selected analytical models at the component level through extensive experiments. Further, the research progresses to studies at the converter level, focusing on a weight-optimized design for the thermal management systems for silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET-based modular converters and the development of a hierarchical digital control system. This stage includes a thorough assessment of the accuracy of small-signal models for modular converters. At this point, the research methodically examines various design constraints, notably thermal considerations and transient responses. This examination is critical in understanding and addressing the specific challenges associated with converter-level design and the implications on system performance. The dissertation then presents a systematic approach where design variables and constraints are intricately managed across different hierarchies. This strategy facilitates the decoupling of subsystem designs within the same hierarchy, simplifying future enhancements to the optimization process. For example, component databases can be expanded effortlessly, and diverse topologies for converters and subsystems can be incorporated without the need to reconfigure the optimization framework. Another notable aspect of this research is the exploration of the scalability of the optimization architecture, demonstrated through design examples. This scalability is pivotal to the framework's effectiveness, enabling it to adapt and evolve alongside technological advancements and changing design requirements. Furthermore, this dissertation delves into the data transmission architecture within the hierarchical optimization framework. This architecture is not only critical for identifying optimal performance measures, but also for conveying detailed design information across all hierarchy levels, from individual components to entire systems. The interrelation between design specifications, constraints, and performance measures is illustrated through practical design examples, showcasing the framework's comprehensive approach. In summary, this dissertation contributes a novel, modular, and scalable hierarchical optimization architecture for the design of power converter-based energy management systems. It offers a comprehensive approach to managing complex design variables and constraints, paving the way for more efficient, adaptable, and cost-effective power system designs.



hierarchical optimization, energy management systems, weight minimization, modeling, modular converters, SiC MOSFET, genetic algorithm