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Smart GaN-Based Inverters for Grid-tied Energy Storage Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0013818
Agency Tracking Number: 218168
Amount: $149,500.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 10b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001227
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-06-08
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-03-07
Small Business Information
2344 Stonecrest Dr
Washington, MO 63090-5599
United States
DUNS: 079595191
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Mehdi Ferdowsi
 (312) 399-7160
Business Contact
 Mehdi Ferdowsi
Title: Dr.
Phone: (312) 399-7160
Research Institution

Battery storage systems are the backbone of the future gird systems. These systems provide distributed energy storage capabilities for smoothening the load profile and coping with generation and load power fluctuations. By incorporating these resources into the electrical grid, voltage stability and overall reliability of the grid will improve. Furthermore, these resources compensate for fluctuations in generated power from wind and solar energy resources and promote massive integration of renewable energy systems. A challenge in utilization of battery storage systems is the design and manufacturing of high efficiency high power density bidirectional inverters. Inverters provide an interface between batteries and the utility grid. Traditional Silicone-based inverters do not offer high efficiencies and suffer from larger real estate requirements. Recent commercialization of low-cost Gallium-Nitride GaN) semiconductor technologies has opened up an opportunity to design and manufacture high efficiency inverters that can operate at higher switching frequencies and demand smaller filtering elements. Hence, not only the GaN switch technology can provide lower losses, but it can also provide smaller inverters and more modular structures. Hence, GaN-based inverters are promising candidates for high power density container type battery storage systems. In this project, InnoCit LLC will perform a comprehensive market analysis to identify potential customers and opportunities for manufacturing GaN based inverters. Also, InnoCit LLC will propose a new multilevel topology to be used with commercially available low voltage GaN devices. In addition, a stacked approach in utilization of printed circuit boards for modular development of GaN based converters is introduced which is more reliable than traditional device paralleling approach. Proposed designs are based on commercially available GaN packages. During this project, electrical and thermal simulations will be performed to ensure feasibility of the proposed technology. Additionally, a small-scale prototype of the proposed system will be developed for experimental evaluations and demonstrations to potential customers. This project is performed in collaboration with a research institute to ensure further scientific advancements and accurate validations of the proposed technology.

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

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