Eindhoven University of Technology

PhD on Multi-terminal Hybrid HVDC system

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Position PhD-student

Department(s) Electrical Engineering

FTE 1,0

Date off 14/08/2022

Reference number V36.5574

Job description

About FlexH2 Project
The Shell-led research project FlexH2, which stands for Flexible Offshore Wind Hydrogen Power Plant Module, intends to develop and demonstrate technology that will accelerate the scale-up of offshore wind, green hydrogen production and its integration in the energy system. Through this grant, the government is contributing 4 million euros, the partners are investing about
5 million euros in the project. The research project is to start on April 1st 2022 and will last four years.

FlexH2 is based on three key technological innovation pillars: (1) a grid-forming offshore wind farm, (2) a high-performance AC/DC solid-state transformer for large-scale electrolysers, and
(3) a multi-terminal hybrid HVDC transmission system and its energy system integration. The project will determine the optimal design and operational solutions for these pillars. FlexH2 will also demonstrate the feasibility and inter-operability of these key technologies at a medium voltage level, which is crucial to boost the confidence of the FlexH2 concept for application in commercial projects.

FlexH2 brings together stakeholders ranging from technology providers to end-users of various kinds. General Electric, ABB, VONK, TU/e and TU Delft will develop the electro-technical innovations. Shell, Van Oord, TKF, TNO and DNV will use their expertise related to hydrogen electrolysis, balance of plant, market/flexibility, and key component design, transport and installation expertise, respectively.

For more information, please check: https://grow-offshorewind.nl/newsitem/flexh2 

About this position
This PhD position aims to develop the third innovation pillar of the FlexH2 project, .i.e, multi-terminal hybrid HVDC transmission system and its energy system integration.

The traditional point-to-point (P2P) HVDC connection is capable of transmitting power generated by offshore wind to shore without technology challenges (e.g. charging current, and dynamic stability) typically faced by long HVAC connection. Despite superior technical capability for far-shore power transmission, P2P HVDC suffers from high cost because of the complex and heavy offshore platform (including converter station topside) compared to its HVAC counterpart. Additionally, the P2P HVDC connection requires dynamic voltage support from the onshore power grid to transfer power to the electric power grid or green hydrogen production in the vicinity; The onshore converter station (point-to-point HVDC connection) is required to be sized the same as the offshore wind farm. This proposed multi-terminal hybrid HVDC system enables lightweight and lean diode rectifier concept to be deployed with the support of a grid-forming offshore wind farm. Furthermore, the novel two-terminal onshore converter station creates electrical infrastructure to directly transfer green electricity to hydrogen electrolysis production independent from the electric power grid connection. The power grid converter terminal can be sized and operated flexibly according to the anticipated flexibility delivery from the FLexH2 concept and the local grid strength condition.

The expected results of the PhD project will be as follows

  • Offshore diode rectifier unit integration with grid-forming offshore wind farm for renewable power production.
  • Onshore MMC-VSC directly coupled with water electrolysis for green hydrogen production.
  • Onshore MMC-VSC station coupled with power grid for flexibility delivery.
  • Power plant controller that enables flexible operation of FlexH2 concept.

The PhD candidate will collaborate closely with consortium partners Shell, GE-grid Solution, TKF, Van Oord, TUD, Vonk, TNO to address the following challenges:

1. High voltage diode rectifier unit

  • High voltage AC input interface specification
  • Rectifier transformer and filter electrical design
  • System integration with grid-forming wind power plant

2. Flexible MMC-HVDC grid interface

  • Grid interface control design and protection
  • Grid interface control verification in controller hardware in the loop platform

3. System integration of SST for hydrogen electrolysis

  • Hydrogen interface control design and protection
  • Hydrogen interface control verification in EMT simulation with high fidelity OEM specific MMC-VSC control and protection model.

4. Power plant controller for offshore wind hydrogen power plant module

  • Primary droop control for grid-forming offshore wind farm, hydrogen interface converter and grid interface converter to maintain the power balance and stabilize dc-link voltage under normal operation
  • Secondary emergency power control through communication network under large disturbance caused by loss of generation or load
  • EMT simulation and validation in PSCAD/EMTDC

5. Control Implementation and validation in MV-KW FlexH2 Concept Demonstrator

  • Control implemntation and testing of Grid Interface
  • Control implemntation and debugging of Hydrogen Interface and electroyser emulator
  • Integration of wind-farm and DR-HVDC emulator
  • Validation of power plant controller and flexH2 concept

Job requirements

We are looking for a candidate who meets the following requirements:

  • You are creative and ambitious, hard-working, and persistent.
  • You have a MSc degree in electrical engineering or any other relevant program.
  • You have theoretical and applied knowledge on modeling, analysis, and control of power electronics systems.
  • Hands-on experience in the control and experiment of multi-terminal MMC-HVDC is a big plus.
  • You have good communicative skills, and the attitude to partake successfully in the work of a research team.
  • You have a good command of the English language (Spoken and Written).

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility’, which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Information and application

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more about the project or
do you have any informal enquiries? Please contact dr. Dongsheng Yang (d.yang1[at]tue.nl) and prof. Guus Pemen (a.j.m.pemen[at]tue.nl).

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HR Services Flux, HRServices.flux[at]tue.nl.

Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of
    three references.
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

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Job details

PhD on Multi-terminal Hybrid HVDC system
De Zaale Eindhoven, Netherlands
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