Electrical Propulsion

Power electronics are required for electrical energy transmission, both to couple the electrical components in the energy supply module (battery, where necessary high performance capacitors, electric motor, further electrical consumers for air conditioning and control systems) and to link a storage system to the stationary power supply (vehicle-to-grid, bi-directional chargers). With increased power requirements, the high voltage systems will have to work with higher voltages, currents and temperatures. The main challenge is to increase the efficiency combined with a reduced volume and reduced costs.

Promising approaches for the future are new substrate materials, so-called „high-temperature wide-bandgap semiconductors“ (e.g. SiC diodes combined with BiMOS controlled inverters), high frequency switching components and cost-saving designs, e.g. using bidirectional DC/DC converters. High temperature elements finally enable new, more efficient cooling systems and integration procedures - possible visions are a pure air cooling or the integration of power electronics into the coolant circuit of the range extender.
The Professors De Doncker, Hameyer and Kneer are supervisors of this research field.