Here, in our series on the EW BrightSparks of 2018, we highlight Ivan Krastev, a Phd Student at the University of Birmingham.
He has shown a deep understanding of power electronics systems and their application to electric vehicles, inventing circuits for signal conditioning, digital microcontrollers, and power devices.
For example, in a University of Birmingham team, he designed a hybrid drivetrain for a narrow-gauge hydrogen locomotive for the Institute of Mechanical Engineer’s Railway challenge.
The first challenge was to design the energy storage system, where had to use a small energy storage pack with supercapacitors. The next challenge was to design the power electronics, where the converter had to achieve at least 95% efficiency to perform well in the energy recovery competition. The most challenging part of the project, however, was the design of the 3-phase inverters for the permanent magnet motors.
His nominator writes:
The nominee has a deep understanding of power electronics systems and their application to electric vehicles. This requires a well developed knowledge of several intertwined disciplines of analogue design, digital signal processing, control, sensors, and electrical machines.
The nominee has the ability of inventing new circuits for signal conditioning, digital microcontrollers, and power devices, with the skills to translate his ideas into practical designs and working circuits. He has also a desire to understand the fundamental aspects of mechanical engineering and vehicle dynamics, and the way they impact the power electronics converters.
Ivan is very motivated to teach electronics to undergraduate students. He has developed a lab experiment where the students have to build a full-wave single-phase thyristor rectifier using a TCA785 phase-angle controller. He has also developed a single-phase MosFET inverter for a remote-lab based on National Instruments Elvis board, where students remotely controlled the converter and visualised the waveform using an internet-based app.