Low-Cost, Modular, Highly Reliable Inverter

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83601
Agency Tracking Number: 72743S03-I
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
9058 Euclid Avenue, Manassas, VA, 20110
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William Cornwell
 (703) 330-4961
Business Contact
 Paul Grems Duncan
Phone: (703) 330-4961
Email: pduncan@airak.com
Research Institution
72743S03-I Today¿s current inverter technologies for electric and hybrid-electric vehicle systems do not lend themselves well to modularity. The inverter designs tend to be application-specific, which translates into larger inverter sizes and/or increased development cost. Also, the accompanying low volume production of such specialized inverters increases parts cost significantly. This project will develop a cost effective, three-phase, modularized voltage source inverter based on advances in optical technologies, scalability techniques, and device reliability. The design will enable the use of a highly-reliable single module, allowing for power levels of 30 to 500 kW and providing for optical isolation. Phase I will develop a prototype three-phase 50 kW inverter module based on cost studies of device technology, optical technology, and techniques for scalability with respect to power level. Design parameters such as DC bus voltage, current capability, switching frequency, and harmonic content will be developed and implemented. Complete control and modulation schemes will be developed as the foundation for the Phase II effort. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: A modular three-phase voltage source inverter should offer significant benefits over current application-specific designs, including scalability for different power levels, high reliability, and parts cost reduction through high volume manufacturing. The modular approach should have application to hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cells, solar arrays, and wind generation equipment.

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

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