The German Ministry of Education and Research is backing the joint research project between Semikron, PCS Power Converter Solutions and the Technical University of Dresden on the optimisation of energy efficiency in Wind and Solar Power technology.
The project is to run over a period of three years, ending in March 2013. The aim of the project is to develop innovative inverter technology to boost efficiency in the utilisation of power gained from renewable sources.
As part of the More efficient use of regenerative energies with multi level topologies (EEMT) project, an innovative inverter is to be developed to convert the direct current generated by wind turbines or solar cells into alternating current that can then be fed into the grid. Conventional inverters need filter circuits to meet the minimum quality requirements for the power to be fed into the grid. According to the project team, the problem such filter circuits are not particularly efficient, meaning some of the energy generated is lost.
The multilevel topology circuit developed within the EEMT project is intended for use with such power inverters, with the aim of reducing filtering requirements substantially. The new circuit topology will also help reduce losses in the power lines to a minimum, boosting overall energy efficiency of the power generation unit. In terms of technology, such modules are more complex than the conventional inverter modules used today; in financial terms, however, the use of the new inverter modules offers very interesting prospects as a result of the increase in efficiency that they bring about, a statement read.
During the research project, new intelligent integrated inverter modules are to be developed by Semikron for use in an innovative power converter developed by Power Converter Solutions. The driver circuitry and protective components are to be developed by the Electrical Engineering Institute’s Chair for Power Electronics at the Technical University of Dresden.
The project is backed by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the Power Electronics for Improved Energy Efficiency initiative, which is part of the German government’s high-tech strategy and the IT and communication technology 2020 initiative (ICT 2020). The ICT initiative focuses, amongst other things, on the expansion of the range of applications for electronics, with the purpose of achieving greater energy efficiency and reduced pollutant emissions with innovative power electronic systems.