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$1.5M NSF Grant Supports Advances in Residential and Commercial Solar Power Systems

By Rebecca Copeland

Supported by a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant, University of Maryland faculty are leading new interdisciplinary research that could lead to major breakthroughs in power-electronic interfaces for solar energy conversion systems.

Professor Alireza Khaligh of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research (ISR) is the principal investigator for the project, and is joined by three co-principal investigators: electrical and computer engineering Associate Professor Behtash Babadi, also of ISR; mechanical engineering Research Professor Amir Shooshtari; and Associate Professor Babak Parkhideh of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Khaligh and his colleagues will develop a new family of energy conversion systems for residential and commercial solar photovoltaic systems. They hope to transform the size and weight of these systems by developing innovative circuit topologies, unique control, novel sensors and optimized electro-thermal design. The goal is to provide clean energy and energy efficiency to help mitigate climate change.

The project will expand scientific understanding of proposed innovative solar micro-inverters with substantially higher power densities and specific powers. Broader impacts include the integration of research and education to meet the emerging workforce and educational needs of the U.S. energy industry.

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