RESEARCH PROJECT

Hemispheric University

Universidad Andrés Bello

Research Project Title

New Multilevel Converter

Research Project Description

Technical summary: The technology corresponds to a new multilevel converter, which operates with fewer components than the existing alternatives, saving costs, losses, size and weight, allowing volume reduction, increasing efficiency and improving equipment reliability. This approach decreases the use of capacitors and switches and avoids the use of diodes over existing alternatives. This inverter can be used in various applications, such as motor drives, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), traction (rail), boat propulsion, electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, high voltage power transmission, electronic devices, among others.

 

Potential impact of the use of the technology: This technology allows the construction of inverters with a smaller number of components than the existing alternatives, which can save up to 30% in costs per component and 30% in losses in energy conversion. In addition, the reduction in size and weight of the system, allowing volume reduction, and thus increased efficiency and use in different applications. Furthermore, the use of this technology allows to diminish up to 48% the system failures, increasing the reliability of the equipment.

 

Market: In 2015, the global inverter market was estimated at USD 53.4 billion, while in 2020 it is expected to reach USD 71 billion (CAGR: 5.87%). The largest markets in 2020 (in revenues) will be represented by motor drives, UPS, and PV2. Europe leads the market segments for converters for use in solar cells, power transmission, motor control and train traction. The main players in this region are ABB, Siemens, ALSTOM, Scheneider, Ingeteam and Valeo. On the other hand, the Asia-Pacific region leads the segments for use in wind turbines, electric vehicles and electronics devices (based on segmentation matrix), with players like TOSHIBA, MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC y HUAWEI.

 

Development status: TRL 3: Proof-of-concept.

Research Project Academic Contact

Jose Rodriguez, Electrical Engineering Professor

jose.rodriguez@unab.cl