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Energy Efficiency

March 2020
GaN and 48 V – Where are We and Where are We Going?

Figure 1: Si MOSFET-based architecture for providing AC power to the CPU or GPU

Three years ago, the cost of making medium voltage eGaN FETs fell below the cost of equivalently rated power MOSFETs.  At that time EPC decided to use the performance and cost advantages of eGaN FETs to aggressively pursue applications with input, or output, voltage around 48 V. Specifically, automotive an
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Date:
03/31/2020
The APEC That Could've Been
The worst collateral damage of COVID-19 is the decimation of global commerce, and trade shows have been hit especially hard – tough to practice “social distancing” with a few thousand people (or more) clustered together. And one of the most unfortunate victims of this new, quarantined reality was the 2020 Ap
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03/30/2020
Cree's 650V MOSFETs Offer Industry-leading Efficiency
Cree announced the expansion of its product portfolio with the release of the Wolfspeed 650V silicon carbide MOSFETs, delivering a wider range of industrial applications and enabling the next generation of Electric Vehicle (EV) onboard charging, data centers, and other renewable systems with industry-leading po
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Date:
03/30/2020

Data-Based Optimization of Energy Systems

Automated detection and inventorying of energy systems using photovoltaic facilities as an example. (Photo: Google Maps/greenventory)

greenventory brings the energy transition into cities: The startup offers utilities, grid operators, and municipalities highly resolved data and software tools for forward-looking planning of sustainable energy systems. The system for automated inventorying, analysis, and optimization made by greenventory considers el
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03/27/2020
Thinner Electrolyte can Improve Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Increasing the efficiency of Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs)

In this post-industrialization age, electricity has become the backbone of our society. However, using fossil fuels to generate it is not the best option because of their limited availability and harmful nature. In the last two decades, significant efforts have been made to develop techniques to foster sustainable en
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03/27/2020
Lightweight Glass for Efficient Cars, Wind Turbines
A new machine-learning algorithm for exploring lightweight, very stiff glass compositions can help design next-gen materials for more efficient vehicles and wind turbines. Glasses can reinforce polymers to generate composite materials that provide similar strengths as metals but with less weight. Liang Qi, a pro
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03/27/2020
TTI Brings You Eaton's SuperCaps Modules for Reliable Power
TTI, Inc., has stock for immediate shipment of multiple values of the Eaton Supercap Modules. All products feature low ESR for high power density with environmentally friendly materials for a green power solution. Eaton supercapacitors are maintenance-free with design lifetimes up to 20 years and operating temperat
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03/26/2020
Industrial Lighting Delivers High-Quality Illumination
Power management company Eaton announced its latest innovation in industrial and hazardous-area lighting, Crouse-Hinds series Champ CPMV and WPMV LEDs. The wallpacks are designed for vertical surface lighting applications in industrial environments and Class I, Division 2 areas, providing high-performance, maintenance-free il
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03/23/2020
Tiny Double Accelerator Recycles Energy

Proof of concept for cascaded terahertz accelerator using long pulses. The mini-accelerator uses terahertz radiation that can be recycled for a second stage of acceleration.

A team of DESY scientists has built a miniature double particle accelerator that can recycle some of the laser energy fed into the system to boost the energy of the accelerated electrons a second time. The device uses narrowband terahertz radiation which lies between infrared and radio frequencies in the electromagnetic sp
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Date:
03/20/2020
OptiMOS™ IPOL voltage regulators with COT engine
      This product family is designed for today’s server, base station and telecom (operating at 85˚C ambient temperature) and storage applications requiring both high efficiency and high density. The IR3887M is the smallest 30 A device on the market. Fusing Infineon’s latest FET gene
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03/19/2020
KEMET Introduces Automotive Metal Composite Power Inductors
The MPXV product offering enhances the company’s METCOM range and is AEC-Q200 qualified for use in the automotive sector.   The new power inductors provide efficient power conversion while minimizing Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and are ideal for use in DC to DC switching power supplies for t
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03/19/2020
A Landmark Plan for Fusion Energy and Plasma Science

PPPL physicist Nathan Ferraro with image from cover of report behind him.

Creating and controlling on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars is a key goal of scientists around the world. Production of this safe, clean and limitless energy could generate electricity for all humanity, and the possibility is growing closer to reality. Now a landmark report released this we
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Date:
03/19/2020
Company Offers Range of Black and White E-Paper Displays
Pervasive Displays (PDi) announces that its full range of Aurora black and white e-paper, or E-ink, electrophoretic displays (EPDs) are available with immediate effect. These chip-on-glass (COG) front plane laminate (FPL) displays make use of the latest driving waveform technology to produce sharp images in a
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Date:
03/18/2020
LED High Bay Rated at 54,000 Hours
Access Fixtures has announced a new commercial and industrial UFO-style high bay luminaire. The fixture, named SYMO, is available in 150w or 212w.  SYMO is first and foremost an extreme life fixture - it is L90 rated at 54,000 hours and L70 rated at 162,000 hours. Its long life guarantees that it will continue to
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03/18/2020
900 V and 1200 V SiC MOSFETs for Demanding Applications
ON Semiconductor has expanded their range of wide bandgap (WBG) devices with the introduction of two additional families of silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET. Intended for use in a variety of demanding high-growth applications including solar power inverters, on-board charging for electric vehicles (EV), uninterruptible po
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03/17/2020
UnitedSiC Announces Distribution Partnership with Digi-Key
UnitedSiC announced a distribution agreement with Digi-Key Electronics. The new partnership will provide Digi-Key customers with worldwide, 24-hour availability of UnitedSiC’s Silicon Carbide product portfolio - including the only standard gate drive SiC devices currently in the market. Yalcin Bulut, VP of G
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Date:
03/16/2020
Chasing Lithium Ions on the Move in a Fast-Charging Battery
A team of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has captured in real time how lithium ions move in lithium titanate (LTO), a fast-charging battery electrode material made of lithium, titanium, and oxygen. They discovered th
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Date:
03/15/2020
6W Automotive-standard DCDC Converter ——CVRC1215JD-6WR3
The device provides 82% efficiency and has a sustainable short-circuit protection (self-recovery), and EMI that meets the automotive standards EN55025/ CISPR25 level 4. It also meets the AEC-Q100 automotive standards, which can better meet the requirements of the automotive industry for high reliability and smal
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03/13/2020
30W High Power Density DC/DC Converter Series URB_YMD-30WR3
This new series URB_YMD-30WR3 comes in 1x1 inch standard package and its power density increased by 50.4% compared to 2x1 inch package products with the same output power. Besides, this URB_YMD-30WR3 series features 18-75V ultra wide input voltage range and operating temperature range of -40℃ to +85℃. Protectio
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03/13/2020
PCIM Europe 2020 Postponed till July
COVID-19 has claimed another victim – on Friday, PCIM Europe 2020 was officially postponed. The good news is that PCIM will be delayed (until July 28-30) instead of cancelled. And the decision was almost entirely out of the show organizers’ hands. German Health Minister Jens Spahn recently called for
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Date:
03/13/2020
RS Components adds STMicroelectronics’ surge suppression range
Designed to handle 8/20µs and 10/1000µs voltage transients and protect circuits and equipment from power surges, the ST portfolio of Electrical Over-Stress (EOS) TVS Flat devices includes industrial and automotive grade devices. Delivering a lower cost per watt ratio, the portfolio of TVS Flat package variants ar
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Date:
03/12/2020
XP Power launches 20W & 40W PCB mount AC-DC power supplies
Complementing the previously released 3W, 5W and 10W models, the VCE20 and VCE40 series provide 20 and 40 Watts of power respectively and offer an encapsulated version as well as a lower cost open frame version, both of which are suited to PCB mounting. The compact (VCE20 – 63.5mm x 30.5mm x 21.8mm / VCE40 - 85.0mm
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Date:
03/12/2020
Flex adds telecom version to BMR480 DC-DC converters
The converter, called the BMR480 0113/034, provides an extended input voltage range below 40Vin, as required for telecom power conversion applications. It is optimized for a wider input voltage range of 36Vin to 60Vin, compared to the standard converters in the BMR480 series. The new version also has an output volt
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03/12/2020
600 V CoolMOS PFD7 series provides ultra-high power-density
The devices are suitable for ultrahigh power-density designs such as chargers and adapters as well as for low-power drives and specific lighting applications. Robustness and reliability gains together with increased efficiency, minimized switching losses and improved thermal behavior make this product fami
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03/12/2020
IEC 63171-6 published: Standard industrial interface for SPE set
On January 23, 2020 the international standard for Single Pair Ethernet interfaces in industrial applications was published with IEC 63171-6. The editor is the IEC committee SC 48B copper connectors. The mating face standard IEC 63171-6 T1 Industrial Style was the first standard submitted by HARTING to SC 48B for
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03/12/2020
RS Components adds Isabellenhütte precision power resistors
Produced using two different proprietary manufacturing technologies known as ISA-Plan and ISA-Weld, Isabellenhütte’s current-sense resistors meet stringent criteria with regard to thermoelectric voltage, long-term stability and inductance that allow electronics designers to optimise power use on PCBs more e
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03/12/2020
100 V Rated Voltage for 1005-Size Automotive Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors
The capacitor comes in a 1.0 x 0.5 x 0.5 mm package and features a rated voltage of 100 V and a capacitance of 0.01 μF.   We have sophisticated the materials and process technologies nurtured by us to improve rated voltage to 100 V compared to our conventional product UMR105 B7103KV (1.0 x 0.5 x
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03/12/2020
TAIYO YUDEN Creates 105°C Capable Lithium Ion Capacitor
The new capacitor has an increased operating temperature limit of 105°C Example applications for this newcapacitor include peak assistance and backup power supply in servers, drive recorders, and smart meters. When the product is used at 3.5 V, the upper limit of the operating temperature can reach +105°C,
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Date:
03/12/2020
OptiMOS Source-Down 25 V power MOSFET in PQFN package
The Source Down is the new industry standard packaging concept. The first wave of power MOSFETs launched in this new package is the OptiMOS TM 25 V in a PQFN 3.3x3.3 mm. The device sets a new industry benchmark in MOSFET performance, reducing on-state resistance (R DS(on)) and offering superior thermal management c
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Date:
03/12/2020
MOSFET Driver for Synchronous Rectification
The driver is designed for AC-DC rectification circuits in general consumer applications, notebooks, and USB adapters. The APR348 is capable of driving the external MOSFET in both high-side and low-side secondary-side synchronous-rectifier configurations. This flexible and efficient device supports secondar
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Date:
03/12/2020
Pre-Switch Demonstrates Efficacy of AI-based Soft Switching
Pre-Switch, Inc., has released first data from its Cleanwave 200kW inverter reference. Double pulse test data demonstrates that the Pre-Switch soft-switching platform – comprising the Pre-Drive 3 controller board powered by the Pre-Flex FPGA, and RPG gate driver board – reduces total system switching losses by
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Date:
03/12/2020
Efficient, Solution-Processed, Hybrid Tandem Solar Cells

Professor Sung-Yeon Jang (center) and his research team in the School of Energy and Chemical Engineering at UNIST.

Colloidal quantum dot (CQD) solar cells have attracted considerable attention due to the advantages of being flexible and lightweight. Besides, they are much easier to manufacture, compared with that of commercial silicon solar cells in use today. A novel technology, capable of maximizing the performance of th
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Date:
03/12/2020
Automotive Phototransistor Optocoupler Saves Energy, Space
Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. introduced a new Automotive-Grade phototransistor optocoupler that combines a high current transfer ratio (CTR) range from 50 % to 600 % with a low forward current of 1 mA in the compact SOP-4 mini-flat package. Offering 80 % lower forward current than the previous-generation solution,
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03/11/2020
SiC MOSFET Devices Enable Better Performance, Efficiency
ON Semiconductor has expanded their range of wide bandgap (WBG) devices with the introduction of two additional families of silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET. Intended for use in a variety of demanding high-growth applications including solar power inverters, on-board charging for electric vehicles (EV), uninterruptible po
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Date:
03/11/2020
$21.4 Million to Develop Water-Energy Technologies
Northwestern University and BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), announced today the initiation of a U.S.-Israel consortium led by both universities for the development of new technologies to solve global water challenges. The multi-institutional, internati
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Date:
03/11/2020
APEC 2020 Cancelled over Coronavirus Concerns
For the first time in 35 years, the show won’t go on for the Applied Power Electronics Conference. On Tuesday, show organizers and sponsors decided to cancel APEC 2020. We all know why – the COVID-19 coronavirus has already claimed South by Southwest (SXSW),
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Date:
03/10/2020
Layered Solar Cell Tech Boosts Efficiency, Affordability

Perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells are contenders for the next-generation photovoltaic technology, with the potential to deliver module efficiency gains at minimal cost.

The future's getting brighter for solar power. Researchers from CU Boulder have created a low-cost solar cell with one of the highest power-conversion efficiencies to date, by layering cells and using a unique combination of elements. "We took a product that is responsible for a $30 billion a year indus
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03/06/2020
Transphorm Inc. Raises $21 Million, Completes Reverse Merger
Transphorm, Inc. announced it raised $21.5 million in a private placement equity financing. Prior to the financing, Transphorm Technology, Inc. (“Transphorm”) completed a reverse merger with Peninsula Acquisition Corporation (“Peninsula”), a public Delaware corporation, whereby Transphorm became a wholly ow
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03/04/2020
New Class of 2D Materials Stores Electrical Energy

MXenes are 2D materials forming multi-layered particles (left) from which pseudocapacitors are made. Shining X-ray light on MXenes revealed changes of their chemical structure upon intercalation of urea molecules (right) compared to pristine MXenes (center).

There are different solutions for storing electrical energy: Lithium-based electrochemical batteries, for example, store large amounts of energy, but require long charging times. Supercapacitors, on the other hand, are able to absorb or release electrical energy extremely quickly - but store much less electrical en
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Date:
03/04/2020
Graphene, Perovskites, and Silicon -- An Ideal Tandem

Graphene Flagship researchers successfully combined graphene with tandem perovskite-silicon solar cells to achieve efficiencies of up to 26.3%.

Graphene Flagship researchers at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) and its spin-off, Graphene Flagship Associate Member BeDimensional, in cooperation with ENEA have successfully combined graphene with tandem perovskite-silicon solar cells to achieve efficiencies of up
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03/03/2020
How to Improve Thermal Performance of Ignition IGBTs

Click image to enlarge

Figure 1. Simplified schematic of the Ignition IGBT test circuit and the resulting IGBT gate voltage, collector current, and dissipated power. P1 is the ON-state power loss and P2 is the discharging cycle power loss

As a result of greater pollution and more stringent regulations, electric and hybrid research and development includes developments in more efficient internal combustion engines and alternative fuels. While the all-electric vehicle is considered the leading solution to eliminate pollutants from vehicles, a number of
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Date:
03/02/2020
When Does it Make Sense to Switch Out Si for SiC?

Click image to enlarge

Figure 1: RDS(on) comparison for a CoolSiC device using various gate drive voltages at different temperatures

Switch mode power supplies (SMPS) have continued to improve in the overall efficiencies that are attainable when using classic silicon (Si) MOSFET technology. This has been achieved by pushing the boundaries with new silicon fabrication processes, design methodologies, and using these devices in innovative new to
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Date:
03/02/2020
Testing GaN Devices to Failure

Click image to enlarge

Figure 1: Weibull plots of gate-to-source failures of EPC2212. Note that very few failures occur even at 8 VGS , yet the device has a maximum VGS rating of 6 V. The data on the left is at 25oC and the data on the right is at 120oC

Standard qualification testing for semiconductors typically involves stressing devices at-or-near the limits specified in their data sheets for a prolonged period of time, or for a certain number of cycles.  The goal of qualification testing is to have zero failures out of a relatively large group of parts te
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Date:
03/02/2020
The Industry's Sustainability Efforts
We’ve spilled a ton of digital ink on the consumer world’s green efforts, but sustainability can be found much closer to home. Infineon Technologies just announced plans to go carbon-neutral by 2030, and that inspired me to take a look at our industry’s voluminous environmental efforts. In the past, we’ve co
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Date:
03/02/2020
Gearing Up for APEC
Across the Atlantic this month, all the talk is about APEC, the first real show of the year to focus on the power industry. This year, the event will take place in New Orleans, which should bring a touch of French Quarter sparkle to the event. However, in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center the focus will be
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Date:
03/02/2020
Wide Band-Gap Semiconductors in the Big Easy
It’s that time of year again – no, not the one where weird relatives stink up the joint and some fat guy zips around the world with magical caribou. I’m talking about APEC. The big one. The crown jewel. The World Series of power. And with it comes arguably the hottest topic in our fair industry – wide ba
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Date:
03/02/2020