The following tutorial is planned for Friday 8 September 2023 during the full day:

(Provisional Programme)

Full Day
(09:30 – 13:00 & 14:00 – 17:30)
Focus Topic 5
Emerging Power Electronic Devices
and Semiconductors

Multi-objective and highly precise optimization of high performance SiC and GaN multilevel power converters with severe constraints

  • Bernardo COUGO, IRT Saint-Exupery, Toulouse, France
  • Hans HOFFMANN SATHLER, Schaffner EMV AG, Luterbach, Switzerland

The objective of this tutorial is to give an overview on how to precisely and quickly optimize high performance converters using disruptive power semiconductor technology (SiC and GaN transistors) associated to multilevel topologies in order to achieve very high efficiency and power density. Besides the general overview about SiC and GaN technology, we focus on the precise characterization of SiC and GaN in order to evaluate their impacts in a power converter. Multilevel topologies and their impact on the system will be explained in details. Furthermore, precise (but fast) models for designing cooling system, input and output common and differential mode filters will be detailed, as well as the impact of PWM methods to increase even more the converter performance.


Full Day
(09:30 – 13:00 & 14:00 – 17:30)

The Essence of Solid-State Transformers:
Fundamentals, Design Challenges, R&D Overview, Comparative Evaluation, Outlook

  • Johann W. KOLAR, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • Jonas HUBER, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

This seminar introduces participants to the Solid-State Transformer (SST) concept in a comprehensive and easy-to-follow fashion. After a brief review of transformer basics, the SST concept history, and the various intended SST application areas, main SST technology concepts and key design aspects are discussed. These include, e.g., medium-frequency (MF) power conversion, power electronic interfaces connected to medium voltage (MV), key SST topologies, MF transformer design, and isolation coordination.

The second half of the tutorial then showcases latest SST concepts and demonstrator systems from University and Industry R&D activities to establish an overview on the state of the art and the most relevant developments. Based on recent industrial SST realizations, we then discuss benefits and challenges for SST applications in datacenter power supply systems and high-power EV charging by providing a comparative evaluation against alternative approaches (e.g., solutions based on low-frequency transformers and highly efficient low-voltage SiC converters).

Based on this comparative evaluation, the remaining challenges, the most promising SST and Power-Electronic-Building-Block-(PEBB)-based realization concepts and their application potentials, and finally the future research vectors are identified. The tutorial closes with an outlook on future performance targets beyond efficiency/power density, i.e., compatibility with future sustainable circular economy concepts.


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