Skip Navigation
Dr. Robert Balog

Dr. Robert Balog

Associate Professor, Co-director of NSF I/UCRC on Next Generation Photovoltaics

Office Number: 241C
Office Phone: +974.4423.0652


Dr. Balog is the Director of the Renewable Energy and Advanced Power Electronics Research laboratory and co-Director of the National Science Foundation Industry/University Collaborative Research Center of Next Generation Photovoltaics. The mission of his research group is to investigate the fundamental engineering and scientific basis of electrical energy conversion. While the core discipline is electrical engineering and the subject domain is power electronics, research into renewable energy systems require a much broader and holistic base of knowledge. As such, in addition to power electronic topologies and controls, we are focused on balance-of-systems issues. Ultimately, our goal is to move photovoltaic energy (aka solar energy) out of the alternative energy category and into the mainstream portfolio of energy resources in a way that is technologically and economically sustainable. Our vision is to be an internationally recognized center of excellence for research.

Research Areas

  • Advanced power electronic converter topologies and controls
  • Model predictive control
  • Direct ac-ac conversion: high-frequency ac link inverters, matrix converters
  • Arc fault and arc flash detection for ac and dc power distribution systems
  • Renewable energy conversion for PV
  • Solid state lighting
  • Microgrids and local area power and energy systems

Education

• Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois USA, 2006

• M.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois USA, 2002

• B.S. Rutgers University, College of Engineering, New Brunswick, NJ USA, 1996

Experience

Professional Experience:

1. Texas A&M University at Qatar, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Doha, QATAR (joint appointment with TAMU College Station), Associate Professor (with tenure), August 1, 2015 – Present

2. Texas A&M University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College Station, Tx, USA, Associate Professor, September 2015 – Present

3. Texas A&M University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College Station, Tx, USA, Assistant Professor, August 2009 – August 2015

4. Middle East Technical University, Ankara, TURKEY, Visiting Scientist Fellow, July 2012

5. SolarBridge Technologies, Austin, Tx, USA (formerly SmartSpark Energy Systems, Champaign, IL; acquired by SunPower in October 2014), Senior Engineer, August 2006 – August 2009

6. United States Army Corp of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center – Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL), Contract Researcher, September 2005 – May 2006

7. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graduate Research Assistant, August 1999 – May 2006

8. Lutron Electronics, Inc., Coopersburg, Pa, USA, Project Electrical Engineer, June 1996 – July 1999

Teaching Experience:

• ENGR 111 – Foundations of Engineering
• ECEN 214 – Electric Circuits
• ECEN 215 – Principles of Electrical Engineering
• ECEN 438 – Power Electronics
• ECEN 489 – Special Topics in Photovoltaic Energy Systems
• ECEN 613 – Inverters and Rectifiers
• ECEN 689 – Power Electronics for Renewable Energy Sources
• ECEN 712 – Power Electronics for Renewable Energy Sources

Awards

Select Awards and Recognition

• Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), Power Electronics Society Distinguished Lecturer, 2018-2019

• Texas A&M University System Patent Award, 2017

• Member, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, External Public Body, 2011

• Rutgers College of Engineering, Distinguished Engineer Award, 2011

• Nominated, Richard M. Bass Outstanding Young Power Electronics Engineer Award, 2009

• IEEE Senior Member, 2007

• IEEE International Telecommunications Energy Conference (INTELEC) Fellow, 2001–2002.

Professional Registration

• Professional Engineer, Illinois USA license no. 062-057093

Publications

Publications and Intellectual Property

U.S. Patents:

1. "Systems and Methods for Determining Arc Events," U.S. Patent application no. 16/000,694 filed 5-Jun-2018.

2. "Apparatus and method for controlling DC-AC power conversion," U.S. Patent 9,806,628, issued October 31, 2017.

3. "Apparatus for Converting Direct Current to Alternating Current using Multiple Converters," U.S. Patent 9,722,504, issued August 1, 2017.

4. "Method and System for Detecting Arc Faults and Flashes Using Wavelets," U.S. Patent 9,329,220 issued May 3, 2016.

5. "Encryption Key Distribution System and Method," U.S. Patent 9,270,448 issued Feb. 23, 2016.

6. "Apparatus and method for controlling DC-AC power conversion," U.S. Patent 9,225,256, issued Dec 29, 2015.

7. "Apparatus for Converting Direct Current to Alternating Current using a Frequency Converter," U.S. Patent 9,093,919 issued July 28, 2015.

8. "Power Inverter Docking System for Photovoltaic Modules," U.S. Patent 8,929,094 issued Jan 6, 2015.

9. "Apparatus for Securing Panels to Substrates," U.S. Patent 8,727,291 issued May 20, 2014.

10. "Apparatus and Method for Controlling DC-AC Power Conversion," U.S. Patent 8,482,947 issued July 9, 2013.

11. "Power inverter docking system for photovoltaic modules," U.S. Patent 8,462,518, issued June 11, 2013.

12. "Methods for Minimizing Double-Frequency Ripple Power in Single-Phase Power Conditioners," U.S. Patent 8,325,499, issued Dec 4, 2012.

13. "Apparatus for Converting Direct Current to Alternating Current using an Active Filter to Reduce Double-Frequency Ripple Power of Bus Waveform," U.S. Patent 8,279,642, issued Oct 02, 2012.

14. "System and Apparatus for Interconnecting an Array of Power Generating Assemblies," U.S. Patent 8,227,942 issued July 24, 2012.

15. "System and Apparatus for Interconnecting an Array of Power Generating Assemblies," U.S. Patent 8,207,637, issued June 26, 2012.

16. "Methods for Minimizing Double-Frequency Ripple Power in Single-Phase Power Conditioners," U.S. Patent 8,004,865, issued Aug 23, 2011.

17. "Methods for Minimizing Double-Frequency Ripple Power in Single-Phase Power Conditioners," U.S. Patent 7,755,916, issued July 13, 2010.

18. "Commutation Technique for an AC-to-AC Converter," U.S. Patent 7,187,149, issued Mar. 6, 2007.

19. "Lighting Control System for Different Load Types," U.S. Patent 6,188,181, issued Feb. 13, 2001.

International Patents:

1. "Apparatus and method for controlling DC-AC power conversion," app. no. PCT/US2010/041161 filed July 7, 2010.

2. "Apparatus for converting direct current to alternating current," app. no. PCT/US2010/041149 filed July 7, 2010.

3. "Commutation Technique for an AC-to-AC Converter," PCT/US06/30938 filed Aug 04, 2006.

Journal and Conference Papers

Please see Google Scholar profile (link)
https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ARbJn1UAAAAJ&hl=en

Magazine / Newsletter Articles:

1. B. Fahimi, A. Kwasinski, A. Davoudi, R. S. Balog, and M. Kiani, "Powering a ‘More Electrified’ Planet: Challenges and Opportunities," IEEE PES Magazine, accepted for publication in 2011

2. R. S. Balog and J. W. Kimball, "Printed Circuit Board Design for Power Electronics," IEEE Power Electronics Society Newsletter, vol. 18, no 4, pp. 10-12, 4th quarter 2006.

3. R. Balog, P. T. Krein, and D. C. Hamill, "Coupled Inductors: A Basic Filter Building Block," Electrical Manufacturing Coil Winding Association News, winter 2002.

Books and Book Chapters:

1. R.S. Balog, M. Shadmand, M. Metry, “The Load as a Controlled Energy Asset in DC Microgrids,” in DC Distribution Systems and Microgrids, London, United Kingdom: The Institute of Engineering and Technology, 2018 expected.

2. A. Kwasinski, W. Weaver, and R. S. Balog, Microgrids and other Local Area Power and Energy Systems, Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

3. R. S. Balog and A. Davoudi, "Batteries, Battery Management and Battery Charging Technology," in Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, vol. 2, R. A. Meyers, Ed.: Springer Verlag, 2012, pp. 671-706.