SBIR Phase I: Proof of Concept for a Manufacturable, Cost-effective, and Highly Efficient Solid State Transformer, Enabling Grid Modernization

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
GridBridge, Inc
130 Penmarc Dr, Suite 101, Raleigh, NC, 27603-2470
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Chad Eckhardt
(919) 413-9898
Business Contact:
Chad Eckhardt
(919) 413-9898
Research Institution:

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project demonstrates a proof of concept for a solid state transformer (SST) that is commercially feasible and can ultimately meet electric utility requirements: highly efficient, cost-competitive, manufacturable within a specific market window, and scalable both to high power and high voltage. Although there has been early work in the area of SST research, current state of the art designs are based on components that aren?t yet commercially available, limiting the ability to commercialize and manufacture at a reasonable cost. GridBridge will introduce revolutionary circuit topology and uniquely incorporate commercially available devices in order to achieve the project goals. This project facilitates a cost-effective and electrically-efficient solution, which will prove SST feasibility to the market and ultimately enable complementary grid technology. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the successful transformation of fundamental research into a commercially feasible and customer-desirable product: the solid state transformer, or SST. Specific to the proposed revolutionary SST circuit topology, the proof of concept is enabling technology for numerous applications: electric vehicle chargers, energy storage devices, and renewable integration. Phase I results are therefore worthy of paper submissions to various IEEE divisions, including Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition. This project will also predict an SST market introduction and the results will therefore be disseminated through pre-existing utility partnerships, via industry white-papers, and through conference presentations. The societal benefit of a commercially feasible SST is colossal, as it is the step-function change required to truly orchestrate a modern grid: sending or receiving signals, making decisions, regulating power flow, and easily accommodating green technology. As a direct replacement to today?s 100-year-old-design of the distribution transformer, the SST will eventually replace numerous installed units and an incremental number purchased annually. Savings in electrical efficiency can be calculated in the trillions of dollars.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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