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Enabling simpler, cheaper and more efficient energy conversion for power electronics modules

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Hey3012 (Enabling simpler, cheaper and more efficient energy conversion for power electronics modules)

Reporting period: 2020-07-01 to 2021-06-30

When electricity is used in a device, whether it be a data server, electric car, TV, dishwasher, industrial robot, solar panel, air conditioner, or many others, it needs to be converted several times from the production site to the mains and one or more times in the device itself. Electricity conversion is performed by power modules which are traditionally inefficient, losing up to 10-20% energy at each conversion, and resulting in an overall loss of energy of up to 50%.
The recent introduction of new materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) for components of power modules called switches, holds the promise of higher energy efficiency. However, the potential of SiC has not yet been fully exploited due to lack of adaptation of other components to this new material. With a complete redesign of a key, yet overlooked, mandatory component of power modules, the gate driver, Heyday Integrated Circuits enables the full potential of SiC in power electronics. This is achieved through Hey3012, the only gate driver for SiC devices with the revolutionary patented power-thru® technology.
Hey3012 provides 4 key benefits: cheaper power modules, smaller power module volume, less module components, and more energy at each conversion with SiC technology. This incremental saving results in a final output of 20%-30% more energy. Hey3012 finally enables society to take full advantage of SiC, increasing energy efficiency and thus significantly reducing the carbon footprint of growing electricity consumption. The Hey3012 project meets three out of eight Green Deal Goals.
After having successfully developed the power-thru technology for self-powered isolated gate drivers for relatively low power GaN switches, the objective of the project is to continue building on the power-thru technology to design a self-powered isolated gate driver suitable for most SiC switches. This will allow to fully exploit the advantages of SiC switches while at the same time accelerating their adoption by simplifying designs and reducing costs.
The work performed during this reporting period is the near completion of Work package 2: the technical development.
This includes the design for the integrated circuits of the two micro-chips, the design of the laminate and of the design of the transformer. These are the key building blocks of our gate driver.
We have developed novel IC-design in specific blocks of the microchips. These novelties are currently being reworked into patent applications.
The expected result of the project has not changed: a self-powered isolated gate driver for SiC switches.
The potential impacts of our gate driver combined with SiC switches are significant carbon footprint reduction, faster adoption of SiC technology and cost savings for electrified vehicles (just to name a few).
H3012 project summary image