D4 - Power Electronic Conversion

D - Sensing, Control and Electromechanics

Status - published
Last updated on: 30/11/2023


Power electronics converters are key for all ORE technology and a major challenge for all converters is to improve their reliability.


Improved control systems and analysis of the power electronic converter will improve reliability and the performance of the drivetrain and grid interface.

Context and Need

Power electronics converters are the key enabling technology for renewable energy utilization. They play an increasingly important role in power system stability and reliability, in particular with the growth of the ORE farms (mainly wind farms now). The major challenge is performance and reliability.


Power electronics conversion is important for all types of ORE technology and the power electronics needs to have better reliability and improved control systems in order to enhance performance and grid integration. The impact of improved power electronic control reliability will be to reduce operating costs and improve utilisation of ORE.

Impact Potential

Control of the power electronic converter can enhance the performance of the drivetrain and grid interface. Performance during faults is important. A major challenge is to improve reliability and impact on OPEX reliability.

Research Summary

Existing projects are currently being undertaken in:

  • Wind - Sheffield University, University of Edinburgh, Warwick University, University of Manchester, University of Strathclyde
  • Wave - Newcastle University, University of Edinburgh
  • Tidal - University of Edinburgh, University of Strathclyde

Previous projects include:

  • All Electric Drivetrain for Marine Energy Converters (EDRIVE-MEC): EDRIVE (EP/N021452/1) aims to tackle a fundamental weakness of current wave energy converters, namely the electro-mechanical Power Take-Off (PTO). EDrive will improve the PTO chain from generator through to grid interface by creating an all-electric solution. This will, in turn, address issues of reliability and maintainability.
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