Accelerating the Future...
Gallium nitride power conversion by GaN
- Award Categories: Energy & Power
- Award Year: 2017
- Nominee URL: http://www.gansystems.com/technology.php
Whenever power conversion happens losses occur. These losses manifest themselves as waste heat, which has to be dissipated and gives rise to excess greenhouse gases. Using gallium nitride, with its much lower on-resistance, superior fast-switching capabilities and zero reverse recovery losses a more efficient conversion is achieved. Gallium nitride technology offers significant efficiency improvements over traditional silicon technology when used in high power conversion systems, thereby reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and various criteria air contaminants. Hybrid and electric vehicles have a substantial power conversion requirement – a typical drivetrain can be switching 100kW. A typical silicon-based converter will be optimally 95% efficient – therefore having a 5% loss – or 5kW. These losses, as heat, have to be disposed of, and the current solutions involve water-cooling and separate radiator systems. GaN converters can achieve 98 to 99% efficiency – a threefold reduction in losses, and thanks to GaN’s higher efficiency, can be air-cooled. Other applications include solar, wind and smart-grid, and high-efficiency power supply.