ENP Newswire -
Release date- 16012014 -
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Revolutionizing Power Electronics Across Every Industry
In the last century, silicon semiconductor-based power electronics - which control or convert electrical energy into usable power - transformed the computing, communication and energy industries and gave consumers and businesses more and more powerful laptops, cell phones and motors. Today, WBG semiconductors offer a new opportunity to achieve unprecedented performance while using less electricity.
WBG semiconductors such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride can operate at higher temperatures and have greater durability and reliability at higher voltages and frequencies. With this new technology, we could shrink the size of a typical laptop power adapter to one-fifth the size of today's adapters, while providing even better performance and cutting energy use about 20 percent. In a typical laptop, one-fourth of the power flowing from the wall outlet is lost as waste heat; WBG semiconductors could cut these power conversion losses by up to 90 percent.
WBG semiconductors could also transform the plug-in electric vehicle industry - making it easier and cheaper to own and drive an electric vehicle. For example, these semiconductors could reduce the size of a vehicle cooling system by about 60 percent and cut the size of a fast DC charging station to the size of a kitchen microwave.
Building a Smarter, More Reliable and More Resilient 21st Century Power Grid
As the cost of clean energy technologies continues to come down, seamless and efficient grid integration will help make these resources and products even more affordable, while giving Americans more control over how they use energy in their homes and businesses. WBG semiconductors will help overcome a range of generation, transmission, distribution and end-use challenges to support a cleaner, affordable and more secure U.S. energy mix.
Power electronics - such as inverters, transformers and transistors - help control and convert electricity and are playing a growing role in electricity generation, distribution and transmission. According to a study by the
By 2030, this is expected to jump to 80 percent of generated electricity - supporting greater renewable energy integration and increased grid reliability. WBG semiconductor-based power electronics will be able to better withstand the power loads and switching frequencies required by next generation utility technologies.
Power electronics that use WBG semiconductors will also be smaller, more efficient and cost less. A WBG semiconductor-based inverter, which switches electricity from direct current to alternating current, could be four times more powerful, half the cost and one-fourth the size and weight of a traditional inverter. At a larger-scale, WBG semiconductors could help reduce the size of an 8,000 lbs. substation to 100 lbs. and the size of a suitcase - ultimately helping to lower the cost of electricity and build a stronger, more reliable grid.
Supporting a Growing, Innovative Economy
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