Solar photovoltaic energy is a viable source of clean, renewable power for applications like wearables, health-monitoring devices, drones, and electric vehicles. However, conventional power system designs drastically reduced power generation when the solar cells receive different amounts of light, as seen in these emerging applications. Katherine has created an innovative power electronics design, using a technique called differential power processing. This innovation minimizes power lost in the converters while individually maximizing each solar cell’s power. The power converters easily connect together for a modular design. Prototypes for wearables have been built and further development for various applications is in progress.
About Katherine A. Kim
Katherine is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the National Taiwan University. She received her B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA in 2007, and her M.S. and Ph.D. Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA, in 2011 and 2014, respectively. From 2014 to 2018, she was an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, South Korea. Her research focuses on power electronics and control of photovoltaic systems and wearable applications.