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Power Electronics Manufacturing Improvements for Heavy-Duty Fuel Cell Vehicle Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0023801
Agency Tracking Number: 0000273978
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C56-18i
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002903
Solicitation Year: 2023
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2023-07-10
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-03-09
Small Business Information
6186 Port Austin Road
Caseville, MI 48725
United States
DUNS: 117770452
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Gary Miller
 (734) 612-2224
Business Contact
 Gary Miller
Phone: (734) 612-2224
Research Institution

Today’s approaches towards power electronics to convert, condition, and manage the electrical output from the fuel cell stack to charge the onboard battery or provide power to the traction motor are wide and varied, with many of them suffering from cognitive entrenchment. This results in over-engineered bespoke systems, that are neither flexible nor scalable, and often tied tightly with specific power-die suppliers. MAREL’s modular power stack architecture with pre-engineered building blocks enables a range of system-level implementations to be built in a straightforward manner, that is also materials-efficient and fast to implementation. MAREL’s approach, with innovations in thermal management, three-dimensional architecture, and semiconductor integration, reduces the power converter weight by 50%, size by 80%, and the total number of power semiconductors. In Phase I, MAREL will build 1) an end-to-end vehicle level model, with the appropriate fuel-cell technology, the battery, the traction motor, (and future home and grid ties), and all the associated power electronics to execute power conversions across all these stages, and 2) using MAREL’s building blocks to validate the use cases via simulations, and 3) integrate inductive and capacitive components, and address power density optimizations that could allow the integration of the power electronics into the fuel-cell housing. In Phase II, prototypes of the same will be built with a view toward long-term reliability, and ease of manufacturing. MAREL’s technology is applicable in every power conversion operation in a fuel-cell application. It is also applicable in the electrification of a range of related mobility application – e-aviation, heavy equipment, marine, etc, beyond traditional automotive. Furthermore, it is applicable in industrial and renewables applications. The total market size is $39B in 2025, and $64B in 2030. MAREL’s technology, with its ability to miniaturize power conversion, will lead to new use cases by the market. MAREL’s pre-engineered standardized consistent building-block approach allows for massive integration of features and functions, and its disaggregation approach of separating software and hardware, enable the independent upgrade capability of either, will bring new technology to bear faster in the marketplace. Others will be able to align their products to MAREL form-factors and thus be compatible, allowing for alternate innovations within & without.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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