You are here



8.     Advanced POWER cONVERSION sYSTEM mAGNETICS FOR grid-tied energy storage

Maximum Phase I Award Amount: $200,000

Maximum Phase II Award Amount: $1,100,000

Accepting SBIR Phase I Applications: YES

Accepting STTR Phase I Applications: NO

The widespread adoption of grid-tied energy storage systems continues to grow, especially due to increasing deployment of renewable energy such as photovoltaic and wind energy systems. Grid-tied energy storage systems add valuable functionality such as renewable firming, frequency regulation, power quality enhancement, and dynamic stability support. Grid storage will ultimately improve the reliability, flexibility, security, and quality of the existing electricity utility grid. The enabling technology that is crucial to these applications is the power conversion system (PCS). The power conversion system controls the power supplied and absorbed from the grid to energy storage device performance while maintaining grid stability. Critical electrical components used in PCS are semiconductors, magnetics such as transformers and inductors, and capacitors. With the advances in wide bandgap semiconductor devices such as SiC and GaN, new topologies for PCSs are emerging due to their high switching frequency, high junction temperature, and high breakdown voltage capabilities. There is increased interest in the usage of high-frequency link converters by utilizing dual active bridge technology. This approach can significantly reduce the size of the transformer while providing galvanic isolation.


All applications to this topic should:

·         Be consistent with and have performance metrics (whenever possible) linked to published, authoritative analyses in your technology space.

·         Clearly define the merit of the proposed innovation compared to competing approaches and the anticipated outcome.

·         Emphasize the commercialization potential of the overall effort and provide a path to scale up in potential Phase II follow-on work.

·         Include quantitative projections for price and/or performance improvement that are tied to representative values included in authoritative publications or in comparison to existing products.

·         Fully justify all performance claims with thoughtful theoretical predictions and/or experimental data.


Grant applications are sought in the following subtopic:


a.      Advanced Manufactured High Frequency Link Transformers for Next Generation Grid-tied Energy Storage Power Conversion Systems

To date, energy storage systems employ line frequency transformers for voltage matching at the point of common coupling and galvanic isolation. However, these transformers can have a large footprint, lossy, noisy, and heavy, which can limit high density power conversion designs. Recently, there has been interest in high-frequency link converters to reduce the size of the transformer. The magnetic cores utilized in such systems are critical for proper operation and when paired with wide bandgap semiconductors can become the bottleneck for high power throughput, particularly given the limitations of the current available materials. Additionally, even with the significantly lower inductance requirements at high frequency, the current materials demand that the transformer take up a disproportionately large piece of the power electronics footprint (especially if the power electronics design dictates that they be passively cooled) and cost. Added flexibility and agility in PCS design and deployment could be realized through advanced manufactured transformer and inductor cores. Additively manufactured (AM) or 3D printed cores could be fabricated directly onto printed circuit boards (PCBs) and eliminate pick and place power electronics assembly. Manufacturing could be further streamlined through the additive manufacture of the windings in addition to the magnetic core. Applications are sought to demonstrate an additively manufactured high frequency (≥ 100 kHz) transformer (complete with AM windings) for dual active bridge converter topology rated at

> 10 kW, 48 Vdc input and > 300 Vdc output to ultimately further the power density of next generation 3-phase 480/208 Vac PCS. The transformer should be capable of operating at temperatures of ≥ 150 °C. The final design should show a significant increase in performance, cost reduction, and decrease in footprint compared to a traditional grid-tied power conversion design connected to line frequency transformer.


Questions – Contact: Imre Gyuk,






1.      Yan, Y., Moss, J., Ngo, K. D. T., Mei, Y., Lu, G. “Additive Manufacturing of Toroid Inductor for Power Electronics Applications.” IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications 53, 5709-5714, 2017,


2.      Liu, L., Ge, T., Yan, Y., Ngo, K. D. T., Lu, G. “UV-assisted 3D-printing of soft ferrite magnetic components for power electronics integration.” 2017 International Conference on Electronics Packaging (ICEP), pp. 447-450, 2017,


3.      Plotkowski, A., Carver, K., List, F., Pries, J., Li, Z., Rossy, A.M., Leonard, D. “Design and performance of an additively manufactured high-Si transformer core.” Materials & Design 194, 108894, 2020,


4.      Simpson, N., Tighe, C., Mellor, P. “Design of High Performance Shaped Profile Windings for Additive Manufacture.” 2019 IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE), pp. 761-768, 2019,


5.      Simpson, N., Mellor, P.H. “Additive manufacturing of shaped profile windings for minimal AC loss in gapped inductors.” 2017 IEEE International Electric Machines and Drives Conference (IEMDC), pp. 1-7, 2017,


US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government