Date of Award

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Robert M. Cuzner

Committee Members

David C. Yu, Hossein Hosseini


Breaker Coordination, DC Community Microgrid, Solid State Circuit Breaker


This thesis validates the use of ultra-fast normally-on SiC JFET based self-powered solid state circuit breakers (SSCBs) as the main protective device for a 340Vdc residential DC community microgrid. These SSCBs will be incorporated into a radial distribution system so that line to line short circuit faults and other types of faults can be isolated anywhere within the microgrid.

Because of the nature and characteristics of short circuit fault inception in DC microgrids, the time-current trip characteristics of protective devices must be several orders of magnitude of faster than conventional circuit breakers. The proposed SSCB detects short circuit faults by sensing its drain-source voltage rise, and draws power from the fault condition to turn and hold off the SiC JFET. The new two-terminal SSCB can be directly placed in a circuit branch without requiring any external power supply or additional wiring.

To achieve the coordination between upstream and downstream SSCBs in the DC community microgrid, a little change has been made to the proposed SSCB. A resistor in the schematic of SSCB has been changed to a potentiometer to have a different response time to short circuit fault. In order to figure out the value of that potentiometer to get the best coordination, a transfer function is derived.

LTspice VI and PLECS are used to verify the analytical work in the design. In the simulation layout, the DC community microgrid has been simplified to a radial system and 5 SSCBs are connected in series. Short circuit fault is applied at different locations in the DC system to test the effectiveness of the coordination scheme.