Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Leon Tolbert

Committee Members

Fangxing Li, Hairong Qi, Charles Collins


In recent years, the idea of a direct current (DC) distribution systems has returned to the public eye as a result of DC based energy sources. The battle between alternating current (AC) and DC began with Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse long ago with AC becoming the victor as a result of the transformer. However, development of power electronics and switching devices and DC based energy sources such as fuel cells has forced the reevaluation of DC systems. This dissertation is focused on once again addressing this topic, but with an examination of the technologies as they stand today. Along with examining basic efficiency of the competing technologies, distributed generation has as well peaked the interest and will be incorporated into the analysis. Optimum placement of this distributed generation (DG) source is vital to obtain the maximum benefit and techniques for optimization are examined. The sensitivity and “rules of thumb” for placement of DG in a DC system are developed. Last, the largest driving factor for system changes is cost. A brief examination of the economic factors that have the potential to drive DC systems is examined.

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