Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Mohammad Matin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David Gao

Third Advisor

Amin Khodaei

Fourth Advisor

Jack Donnelly


Leakage current, PV system, Photovoltaics, Renewable energy, SiC, Transformerless inverter, Wide band-gap


The shortage of fossil resources and the need for power generation options that produce little or no environmental pollution drives and motivates the research on renewable energy resources. Power electronics play an important role in maximizing the utilization of energy generation from renewable energy resources. One major renewable energy source is photovoltaics (PV), which comprises half of all recently installed renewable power generation in the world. For a grid-connected system, two power stages are needed to utilize the power generated from the PV source. In the first stage, a DCDC converter is used to extract the maximum power from the PV panel and to boost the low output voltage generated to satisfy the inverter side requirements. In the second stage, a DC-AC inverter is used to convert and deliver power loads for grid-tied applications. In general, PV panels have low efficiency so high-performance power converters are required to ensure highly efficient PV systems.

The development of wide-bandgap (WBG) power switching devices, especially in the range of 650 V and 1200 V blocking class voltage, opens up the possibility of achieving a reliable and highly efficient grid-tied PV system. This work will study the benefits of utilizing WBG semiconductor switching devices in low power residential scale PV systems in terms of efficiency, power density, and thermal analysis.

The first part of this dissertation will examine the design of a high gain DC-DC converter. Also, a performance comparison will be conducted between the SiC and Si MOSFET switching devices at 650 V blocking voltage regarding switching waveform behavior, switching and conduction losses, and high switching frequency operation.

A major challenge in designing a transformerless inverter is the circulating of common mode leakage current in the absence of galvanic isolation. The value of the leakage current must be less than 300mA, per the DIN VDE 0126-1-1 standard. The second part of this work investigates a proposed high-efficiency transformerless inverter with low leakage current. Subsequently, the benefits of using SiC MOSFET are evaluated and compared to Si IGBT at 1200 V blocking voltage in terms of efficiency improvement, filter size reduction, and increasing power rating. Moreover, a comprehensive thermal model design is presented using COMSOL software to compare the heat sink requirements of both of the selected switching devices, SiC MOSFET and Si IGBT.

The benchmarking of switching devices shows that SiC MOSFET has superior switching and conduction characteristics that lead to small power losses. Also, increasing switching frequency has a small effect on switching losses with SiC MOSFET due to its excellent switching characteristics. Therefore, system performance is found to be enhanced with SiC MOSFET compared to that of Si MOSFET and Si IGBET under wide output loads and switching frequency situations. Due to the high penetration of PV inverters, it is necessary to provide advanced functions, such as reactive power generation to enable connectivity to the utility grid. Therefore, this research proposes a modified modulation method to support the generation of reactive power. Additionally, a modified topology is proposed to eliminate leakage current.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Fahad Almasoudi


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

155 p.


Electrical engineering