Low Cost Modular Power Converter-Building Blocks
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
9058 Euclid Avenue, Manassas, VA, 20110
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Paul Grems Duncan
Paul Grems Duncan
Abstract72743-In the past, power converter/inverter designs (such as those used in electric or hybrid electric vehicles) tended to be application-specific engineering projects, which limited their utility because the low-volume production of specialized power conversion equipment significantly increased design risk and development cost. On the other hand, todays power electronics technologies lend themselves well to modularity, which will result in systems with decreased production costs and greater reliability. This project will develop standardized 100kW and 1MW power electronic modules for converter/inverter applications. Modular converters/inverters will be demonstrated in various configurations to prove the viability of standarized power converter components for multiple and diverse applications. Phase I developed scaling rules for the implementation of power conversion technologies over 50 kW. Partitioning rules concerning device technology, optical technologies, and scaleabiliy techniques with respect to power level and reliability were considered. A plan for cost-effectively developing reliable, modular 100 kW/phase and 1MW/phase power converters was produced. In Phase II, power converter/inverter building blocks will be produced. Six 100 kW/phase modules and six 1 MW/phase modules will be manafactured, configured, and tested to prove the standardization approach. System costs will be detailed and compared to known pricing structures. 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 flexibility for different power levels, high reliability of optimized individual modules, and cost reduction through high volume manufacturing. The modular approach should be applicable to various power storage and generation technologies including fuel cells, fly wheels, solar arrays, and wind generation.
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