Green power electronics project off to a good start
On March 16, the representatives of six Baltic Sea neighbours gathered to push the Interreg project 'Power Electronics for Green Energy Efficiency' off to a good start. The launch marks the beginning of an effort to increase green energy consumption by means of advanced power electronics.
Advanced electronics to reduce energy loss
The demand for energy is rapidly increasing, and at the same time production of more energy ruins the climate ecosystem. There are two convincing solutions to this dilemma: Produce more green energy, for example via large wind turbines or large solar plants, and avoid losses in transporting and transforming the energy, thus effectively decreasing the need for energy. Both approaches ask for new electronics, and here the project “Green PE” enters the game. Green PE ensures significantly more efficient control and conversion of electrical power in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR).
Technologies challenge development
Advanced power electronics is based on wide bandgap semiconductor materials (SiC and GaN) used in active electronic components, and new technologies for packaging, cooling, and failure monitoring. These components do exist. However, their market uptake is challenged by low volume and high production costs. So far, companies in the BSR have not realized the need and the potential of this new technology.
The project will increase the willingness of regional companies but also public authorities to implement advanced power electronics. Strategic alliances and collaborations will be initiated between companies, public research institutions, and authorities. More specifically, three demonstration pilots run by research and industry within the areas of the renewable energy, e-mobility, and smart buildings will exemplify the potential of these new electronic components.
MCI is driving force
Green PE takes advantage of a strong BSR science and technology network that has been set up during a previous Interreg 4B project, Technet_nano, which ran from 2011-2013 with MCI as lead. From the very early stages of the new project idea in 2014, MCI has again been the major driving force as lead partner in realizing the Green PE project. First via a one-year seed money test project and now via a consortium of 18 partners and 20 associated partners from the regional industry, research centres and cluster organizations, originating from Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania.
MCI will specifically emphasize the e-mobility pilot, which aims at demonstrating the benefits and capabilities of advanced power electronics. For this purpose, the regional company Banke Accessory Drives will install and test advanced electronic units on electrified garbage trucks. This technology is expected to bring large economic benefits combined with reduction in environmental pollution with Diesel exhaust as well as strong lowering of acoustic noise.