Keynote 1:

Distributed Smart Solar Conversion to Enable Smart-Grid Applications

Prof. Issa Batarseh

University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida, USA



Significant research progress has been made in advancing photovoltaic energy conversion technologies including distributed smart single-phase microinverters and DC-DC maximizers. This progress has resulted in more and more communities consider deploying smart-grid technologies to enable smart-city solutions. Even though, the vast majority of installed PV systems are based on medium to high power string inverters, however, recently, smart micro-inverters have been shown to have advantageous over their string inverter counterparts in both grid-tied PV energy harvesting and standalone micro-grid systems with energy storage. Some of these are simplified installation, no high voltage DC wiring, no single point of failure and improved energy harvesting. This talk will focus on recent advancement in power electronics inverters for PV energy conversion focusing on the advantages and improvements in the three-phase microinverter three-phase and how the new solar energy conversion technologies may incorporate smart-grid capabilities in distributed PV systems. 



Batarseh is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Central Florida. His work focuses on developing innovative power electronic systems for grid-tied solar applications. The research goal is to design advanced inverter technologies to achieve high efficiency, low cost inverter topologies, enabled by advanced digital control strategies for enhanced performance, fault protection, system integration, and health monitoring for power grid. His research findings have been licensed to three companies. He is a founding partner of two technology companies, Petra Solar (now Petra Systems) and Apecor. He has received 26 patents, graduated 43 Ph.D students and 70 MS and undergraduate students. He has published 85 journal papers, more than 250 refereed papers at international conferences, and six book and book chapters. Batarseh is a Fellow of the National Academy Inventors (NAI), IEEE and the AAAS. Holds a Professional Engineering (PE) License in Florida.



Keynote 2:

Renewable Energy Sources and their Impact on the Utility Companies 

Prof. Ziyad Salameh

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Boston, Massachusettes, USA



Recently the global warming, pollution and high oil prices forced politicians, utility companies (UC) and the general public to pay more attention to renewable energy sources (RES) such as wind, photovoltaic and biofuels. RES may be located on backbone of the distribution systems, they are located right where the customers are, so they are used more efficiently, they are not polluting renewable and modular. The application of RES has an impact on the utility companies, manifested in:

  • The potential reduction in the demand side load which is equivalent to increasing the capacity of the utility company.
  • The reduction in summer peaks load from the application of PV systems.
  • The interaction with customers who used this RES. which includes:
  1. Protect the safety and integrity of the utility system, prevent islanding, and the contribution to short circuit current in the utility system
  2. Net Metering Rules or buy back policy
  3. Cost of interconnection with the qualified customer.
  4. power quality, THD<5%, any individual harmonic is <3%
  5. Acceptable power factor. Customers with PF <0.85 should pay penalty.
  6. Standards (Such as interconnection requirements and the level of noise).
  7.  Incentives ( renewable energy credit, carbon credits
  • Because of the intermittent nature of the RES their penetration level in a utility grid is important to be figured out in light of the energy storage available to the utility companies.
  • Large scale use of RES needs diversity; it requires large load balancing areas in tandem with better regional planning.
  • The overhead lines needed to carry the RES from the abundant sources of renewable energy to the customers is an important factor in their wide spread use.
  • Legislative issues: The zoning policy of installing small scale RES in towns and cities has to be dealt with and legislated.
  • Utility Companies need an abundant and skilled workforce to design, build, operate and maintain RES. UC should support RES curriculum in the Universities and Research institutions to produce such a workforce.  In the future UC will have to control the inverters of the RES and the charger of the EV 




  • Dr. Salameh got his Diploma (with honors) from Moscow Power Engineering Institute Russia in 1974 and his M.Sc. and Ph.D from University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 1980 and 1982 respectively.
  • Dr. Ziyad Salameh is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell since 1985; he chaired the ECE Department for three years 2001-2004.
  • Dr. Salameh is the director of the center for Electric Car and Renewable Energy (EC&RE), the center has four wind turbines erected on the roof of University ( 2.4kw, 1.5kw, 0.5kw and 0.3kw), two arrays of photovoltaic panels (10.6kw and 2.5kw) ,super capacitor station, 1.2kw fuel cell and two banks of battery storage. The center has also 10 electric cars for research and education. Dr. Salameh has been driving an electric car since 1994.
  • Professor Salameh has published more than 140 papers in renewable energy systems and electric vehicle technologies.
  • Dr. Salameh is the author of a book “Renewable Energy systems Analysis and Design Published by Elsevier, ISBN:0123749913,EAN: 9780123749918  Another book entitled “Electric Vehicle Technology) under agreement.       
  • Dr. Salameh granted: 11 PhDs and 45 Master degrees.
  • Member:   IEEE Renewable Technologies Subcommittee
  • Member: IEEE Power and Energy Development committee
  • Member: IEEE  Distributed Generation and  Energy StorageSubcommitte Served and serves asAssociate Editor of four Journals : Power and Energy (IASTED), Renewable Energy Engineering, Progress in Photovoltaic, and Renewable Energy (IASTED). Finally Associate Editorof the International Journal of Power and Renewable Energy Systems (IJPRES). Dr. Salameh is the recipient of the IEEE/PES  (Ramakumar Family) Renewable Energy Excellence Award for 2015.
  • Dr. Salameh has been invited to so many keynote speakers in international conferences all over the world. 


Keynote 3:

Wind energy utilization and related storage aspects

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Rolf E. Hanitsch

Technical University of Berlin (TUB)




It is envisaged that by the year 2020 about 40 000 MW of wind power should be installed in Germany. Offshore and onshore installations should have roughly an equal share. Technology improvements in recent years are very impressive. Beside the novel design of asynchronous and synchronous generators also work on transversal flux machines is done. Typically ac generators have a specific torque of 2.0 - 5.0 Nm/kg. A transversal flux machine might have 15 — 20 Nm/kg. While in 1980 the power level of the wind turbine was 30 kW nowadays the first 8 MW turbine was put into operation. One European team is working on a 15 MW wind turbine generator with super-conducting windings. Beside work and improvements on generators also modifications of the turbine blades contribute to improved power output.

As the cost of the foundation are a critical point for offshore systems engineers look for new solutions and suggest floating foundations.

Although horizontal-axis turbines are dominating the market there are interesting vertical-axis turbines available for a variety of applications.

Due to the power fluctuations of the wind novel hybrid systems including storage are required. Beside the well-known electrochemical storage with Lithium-ion batteries or redox-flow batteries the storage of hydrogen is an interesting option. During periods of high wind speed and a grid with low power demand the excess electric power can be used in large electrolysis systems in the MW power range to produce hydrogen. This hydrogen can be stored e.g. in the natural-gas pipline grid or additional storage vessels.

Upon demand — during low wind speed periods — the hydrogen can be used in CHP systems to generate electric energy and low temperature heat. Wind farms in combination with selected energy conversion systems e.g. electrolysis installations and CHP and storage units will help to stabilize the voltage and frequency of the grid.



Professor of Electrical Machines and Drives at Technical University of Berlin (TUB) Germany.  More than 30 years of expertise in renewable energies with focus on wind energy and solar energy and supervisor of more than 60 Ph. D. candidates.

Selected Research Projects

  •  Reliability investigation of Power-Systems
  •  Development of Brushless DC Machines
  •  Control of Electrical Machines and Drives
  • Solar Test Facility
  • Pumps driven by Solar Energy
  • Energy Storage Control
  • Solar Thermal Systems for Domestic Hot Water Production
  • Cogeneration Systems – an experimental study
  • Application of Heat Pumps in Solar Systems
  • Photovoltaics for Decentralised Applications
  • Wind Energy Converters
  • Traction Drives
  • CEAM (Concerted European Action on Magnets: Work on micromotors)
  • Two BRITE/EURAM Projects: Switched reluctance drives and micro-motors
  • MAG-NET: EU – network for permanent magnet applications: Actuators, high speed motors, large wind generators


Related Activities: More than 200 publications in areas of expertise:

  • Co-author of a book about Electrical Machines and Co-author of a book about Testing of Electrical Machines (Springer Publishing)
  • Energy Management/Energy Consulting: Series of handbooks about Electrical Systems and related topics (Springer Publishing)
  • Book on Magnetic Materials
  • Chapter on sensors in a book on “Automation”
  • Chapter in a book on Rare-Earth-.Iron Permanent Magnets with focus on brushless dc Motors (Oxford University Press)
  • Field experiences in various countries:
  • North Korea, Egypt, Nepal, Singapore, Turkey, Algeria, Maroc, China, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Uzbekistan
  • Visiting Professor and Lecturer:
  • Belgium, Switzerland, Great Britain, USA, Egypt, South Korea, Nepal, Singapore, China, India, Brazil, Uzbekistan, New Zealand
  • Consulting Activities for various institutions:
  • KFA Jülich, GTÄZ, BMFT, DFG, DAAD, CEC, VDE and private companies (AEG, BMW, Siemens, RWE, Bühler AG, WILO, SME’s)
  • Seven patents on electrical machines applications, one with United Technologies (USA)


Keynote 4:

Wide Bandgap Power Electronics: Enabling  More Efficient Renewable Energy Systems

Prof. John Shen

Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, Illinois, USA



Wide bandgap (WBG) power semiconductors such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) have gained an increasing acceptance in energy conversion and renewable energy applications. This progress has resulted in higher energy efficiency and significant weight/size reduction of these energy systems. This talk will discuss the unique advantages of WBG power electronics over the traditional silicon, device and circuit innovations, and their potential proliferation into PV, wind power, and microgrid systems. The cost and reliability challenges will also be addressed.



Z. John Shen is the Grainger Endowed Chair Professor in Electrical and Power Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, USA. His research interests include power electronics, power semiconductor devices and ICs, automotive electronics, renewable and alternative energy systems, and electronics manufacturing. He has published over 170 journal and conference articles, and holds 16 issued and several pending U.S. patents in these areas. Dr. Shen is an IEEE Fellow and a recipient of the 2012 IEEE Region 3 Outstanding Engineer Award, the 2003 NSF CAREER Award, the 2006 IEEE Transaction Paper Award from IEEE Society of Power Electronics, the 2003 IEEE Best Automotive Electronics Paper Award from IEEE Society of Vehicular Technology, and the 1996 Motorola Science and Technology Award. He has been an active volunteer in the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS), and has served as VP of Products 2009-2012, Associate Editor and Guest Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, technical program chair and general chair of several major IEEE conferences including ECCE2016.


Keynote 5:


Renewable Energy for Transportation Applications


Kaushik Raja shekara

University of Houston



The transportation industry is facing challenges in terms of reducing emissions, improving fuel economy, meeting the demand of increasing electrical loads, and reducing the cost.  In spite of the increasing trends in the electrification of transportation, due to the basic problem of getting the electricity from fossil fuels for transportation, it has not given significant advantages in reducing emissions. In this presentation, the current trends in the technologies of electrification of transportation will be discussed and how renewable energy sources could be deployed for transportation for lowering the overall emissions will be presented. Case studies of automobiles, trains, airplanes, and cruise ships will be discussed.



Kaushik Rajashekara received his PhD (1984) degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Science.  In 1989, he joined Delphi division of General Motors Corporation in Indianapolis, IN, USA as a staff project engineer.  In Delphi and General Motors, he held various lead technical and managerial positions, and was a Technical Fellow and the chief scientist for developing electric machines, controllers, and power electronics systems for electric, hybrid, and fuel cell vehicle systems.  In 2006, he joined Rolls-Royce Corporation as a Chief Technologist for More Electric architectures and power conversion/control technologies for aero, marine, defense, and energy applications.  In August 2012, he joined as a Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. From September 2016, he is a Distinguished professor at the University of Houston.


Rajashekara has published more than 150 papers in international journals and conferences, and has over 45 patents. He has co-authored one IEEE Press book on sensorless control of ac motor drives. He was elected as a Member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2012 for contributions to electric power conversion systems in transportation. He was also elected as Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering.  He is the recepient of the IEEE Richard Harold Kaufmann award, IEEE Industry Applications Society Outstanding Achievement Award, and  IEEE IAS Gerald Kliman award for contributions to the advancement of power conversion technologies through innovations and their applications to industry.  He is a Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of SAE International. His research interests are in the area of power electronics, drives, and energy management of microgrid systems.


Keynote 6:



Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Pitz-Paal

DLR Institute of Solar Research



In CSP technology concentrating collectors are used to generate high temperature heat that drives a conventional power cycle. As heat can be stored simpler and cheaper than electricity the concept is very suitable to provide electricity according to the demand in particular covering the load peak after sunset typical in many Sunbelt countries. CSP electricity costs have dropped approx. by half since the beginning of the commercial implementation phase in 2007 along with the implementation of 5 GW of CSP plants worldwide. They range today rom 15 €cents/kWh down to 6 €cents/kwh depending on size of the power plant, solar resource and financing conditions. Further cost reduction is driven by mass production effects but also through technical innovations that lead to higher system efficiencies, resulting in more electricity output per sqm of concentrator surface. The talk will provide background information on the current market and cost situation. It will highlight new technology concepts and report on the progress of research projects that target to increase system efficiency through higher operation temperature in the heat transfer fluid of the system. 



Graduated from the Ludwig Maximillians University in Munich with a degree in physics in 1988. In 1993 he received his PhD in mechanical engineering and 1993 he joined the German Aerospace Centre. Today he is one of the two directors of DLR Solar Research Institute with more than 140 members of staff located in Cologne, Stuttgart, Jülich and Almería, Spain. This position is jointly assigned with a professorship for Solar Technology at the RWTH Aachen University. In 2008 he was also visiting Professor at the ETH in Zurich. He serves as associate editor for he Journal of Solar Energy and in various roles in the SolarPACES (Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems) implementing agreement of the International Energy Agency and is acting as its vice chairman today. He also chaired the CSP working group of the European Academies Science Advisory Council and is member of the board of the German association of the CSP Industry (DCSP).



Endorsed by:


 German-Jordanian University