IEEE HomeSearch IEEEShopWeb AccountContact IEEE

VMS E-Services

Recent Meetings

ExComm Minutes


Region 3

VA Central Section

Student Branches


Special Interest


VMS Calendar

Meeting Dates

Meet the Officers

Officer Duties

VMS Bylaws

» Local Activities
IEEE Virginia Mountain Section

spacer spacer

VMS Logo


Thursday, January 31 in Blacksburg

Photovoltaic Power Conversion Systems

photo: VT College of Engineering website

Jih-Sheng (Jason) Lai, Ph.D.
James. S. Tucker Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
Director, Future Energy Electronics Center
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
106 Plantation Road (0356)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

click here for a PDF copy of the presentation


Solar photovoltaic (PV) delivers low-voltage varying dc that requires power electronics circuits to make it into a useful format. Efficiency is a complicated issue in the entire PV power conversion system that starts from PV panel to the end customer power output or energy production. For the case with utility grid connection, the output of power electronics needs to be high-voltage sinusoidal ac, and the power conversion technique needs to take into account cost, efficiency, and other performances while complying with regulatory standards.

Energy production of a solar photovoltaic system with different power electronics technologies varies. The Virginia Tech Future Energy Electronics Center set up a demonstration system for a year-long study to compare energy production with different commercially available power electronics architectures and technologies. The study results will be used for the discussion of how to produce solar energy with more cost effective power electronics design.

The trend of latest power electronics technologies that deal with high efficiency PV power conversion and compliance to grid connection codes will be introduced. The overall presentation will be divided in five sections: (1) PV Market Outlook and Cost Targets, (2) PV Cell Characteristics and Maximum Power Point Tracking, (3) Energy Production Comparison for Different PV System Architectures, (4) Example PV Power Conversion Circuits and Efficiency Profiles, and (5) Future Trends.


Jih-Sheng (Jason) Lai received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 1989, he joined the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Power Electronics Applications Center (PEAC), where he managed EPRI-sponsored power electronics research projects. From 1993, he worked with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory as the Power Electronics Lead Scientist.

In 1996, he became a part of Virginia Tech. Currently he is James S. Tucker Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Director of Future Energy Electronics Center (FEEC). He has published more than 280 refereed technical papers and 2 books. He has received 22 U.S. patents in the area of high power electronics and their applications.

His has work brought him several distinctive awards including a Technical Achievement Award in Lockheed Martin Award Night, and seven International conference paper awards. Dr. Lai is an IEEE Fellow. He was the Founding Chair of the 2001 IEEE Future Energy Challenge, General Chair of 2005 IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference, and General Chair of NSF Workshop on Advanced Power Conditioning for Alternate Energy Systems.

Meeting Details:

Thursday, January 17, 2013 in Blacksburg
Social: 6:30 PM
Dinner: 7:00 PM
Talk: 8:00 PM
Cost: Members & Guests $20.00, Students $10.00

Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions (vegetarian, dairy or gluten allergy, etc).

Holiday Inn – Blacksburg
900 Prices Fork Rd.
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Directions to Holiday Inn – Blacksburg:
From I-81, take exit 118 onto US-460 West

Continue on US-460 West until passing the main campus entrance (Southgate Drive), then take the next exit: Downtown exit (first Price’s Fork Rd. exit).

The Holiday Inn is at the intersection of Prices Fork Rd. and University City Boulevard.

RSVP by 5 PM, Monday, Jan 14, 2013. Please specify the number of attendees and any dietary needs/restrictions.

Joe Hartwell, or
John Dilley,

Continuing Education Credit
One Continuing Education Credit will be awarded for this meeting. Please see Dr. David Livingston at the meeting to sign up for the credit.

Please see Dr. David Livingston at the meeting to sign up for the credit.

back to top

The Virginia Mountain Section (VMS) of the IEEE has been serving members in the Southwest corner of the Commonwealth of Virginia since 1949.

We currently have two Student Branches in local universities and colleges:

  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Tech

and the VMS Consultants Network Affinity Group

The purpose of this Affinity Group is to share information concerning consulting opportunities, and to make a list of consultants and their areas of expertise available to potential employers.

Anyone wishing to be added to this group, or desiring more information should contact David Livingston,

Information about our Section, the Chapters, and material of interest to our members may be found by selecting items in the left column of this page.

back to top
spacer spacer
If you would like to contact the IEEE Webmaster, email to
© Copyright 2002-2011, IEEE.   Terms & Conditions.  Privacy & Opting out of Cookies .
VMS web contact;
(last modified: March 8, 2013 )