Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Zhixin Miao, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lingling Fan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chung Seop Jeong, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kaiqi Xiong, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Zhenyu Wang, Ph.D.


Microgrid, Voltage Source Converter (VSC), Three-phase Hybrid Boost Converter (HBC), Droop Control, PV Charging Station


The motivation of this research is to carry out the control and operation of smart inverters and voltage source converters (VSC) for distributed energy resources (DERs) such as photovoltaic (PV), battery, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The main contribution of the research includes solving a couple of issues for smart grids by controlling and implementing multifunctions of VSC and smart inverter as well as improving the operational scheme of the microgrid. The work is mainly focused on controlling and operating of smart inverter since it promises a new technology for the future microgrid. Two major applications of the smart inverter will be investigated in this work based on the connection modes: microgrid at grid-tied mode and autonomous mode.

\indent In grid-tied connection, the smart inverter and VSC are used to integrate DER such as Photovoltaic (PV) and battery to provide suitable power to the system by controlling the supplied real and reactive power. The role of a smart inverter at autonomous mode includes supplying a sufficient voltage and frequency, mitigate abnormal condition of the load as well as equally sharing the total load's power. However, the operational control of the microgrid still has a major issue on the operation of the microgrid. The dissertation is divided into two main sections which are:

1- Low-level control of a single smart Inverter.

2- High-level control of the microgrid.

The first part investigates a comprehensive research for a smart inverter and VSC technology at the two major connections of the microgrid. This involves controlling and modeling single smart inverter and VSC to solve specific issues of microgrid as well as improve the operation of the system. The research provides developed features for smart inverter comparing with a conventional voltage sourced converter (VSC). The two main connections for a microgrid have been deeply investigated to analyze a better way to develop and improve the operational procedure of the microgrid as well as solve specific issues of connecting the microgrid to the system.

A detailed procedure for controlling VSC and designing an optimal operation of the controller is also covered in the first part of the dissertation. This section provides an optimal operation for controlling motor drive and demonstrates issues when motor load exists at an autonomous microgrid. It also provides a solution for specific issues at operating a microgrid at autonomous mode as well as improving the structural design for the grid-tied microgrid. The solution for autonomous microgrid includes changing the operational state of the switching pattern of the smart inverter to solve the issue of a common mode voltage (CMV) that appears across the motor load. It also solves the issue of power supplying to large loads, such as induction motors. The last section of the low-level section involves an improvement of the performance and operation of the PV charging station for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) at grid-tied mode. This section provides a novel structure and smart controller for PV charging station using three-phase hybrid boost converter topology. It also provides a form of applications of a multifunction smart inverter using PV charging station.

The second part of the research is focusing on improving the performance of the microgrid by integrating several smart inverters to form a microgrid. It investigates the issue of connecting DER units with the microgrid at real applications. One of the common issues of the microgrid is the circulating current which is caused by poor reactive power sharing accuracy. When more than two DER units are connected in parallel, a microgrid is forming be generating required power for the load. When the microgrid is operated at autonomous mode, all DER units participate in generating voltage and frequency as well as share the load's power. This section provides a smart and novel controlling technique to solve the issue of unequal power sharing. The feature of the smart inverter is realized by the communication link between smart inverters and the main operator. The analysis and derivation of the problem are presented in this section.

The dissertation has led to two accepted conference papers, one accepted transaction IEEE manuscript, and one submitted IET transaction manuscript. The future work aims to improve the current work by investigating the performance of the smart inverter at real applications.