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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K032984/1
Title: Investigating the Power Density of Power Electronics
Principal Investigator: Rogers, Dr DJ
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
IMV Corp Microsemi Rolls-Royce Plc
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: Cardiff University
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 30 September 2013 Ends: 29 September 2015 Value (£): 100,395
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Power Electronics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
16 Jan 2013 EPSRC ICT Responsive Mode - Jan 2013 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The power density of power electronics is defined by the power processed in a given volume or mass of converter (volumetric and gravimetric power densities respectively) where the converter is normally defined as the combination of power semiconductor devices, the input and output filters, the thermal management system and control electronics that together provide an interface between two or more electrical systems.

The power density of power electronics is an important consideration in modern engineering systems as in many applications it has become attractive to use electrical power distribution and actuation in place of mechanical, hydraulic or pneumatic systems to reduce overall system mass and complexity, along with improving efficiency and reliability. An understanding of the future capabilities of power electronics as well as the bottlenecks limiting increases in performance of power electronic systems will enable the UK to play a leading role in the development and application of this key technology.

Designing a converter is a complex engineering task that balances many interacting pressures: A designer must select from a range of possible designs and technologies, finding the optimal allocation of mass and volume for each component and within each component whilst meeting electrical and thermal specifications. It the hypothesis of this proposal that in order to reach a true power density optimum, the design process must consider system-wide electrical, mechanical and thermal problems simultaneously: It is not enough to design each component individually based on their electrical specification alone.

This research project will produce software that will optimise the power density of a converter subject to a particular electrical and thermal specification by considering all major aspects of the design under a global electrical, mechanical and thermal optimisation framework. By formulating a set of strict rules governing the design and placement of each component within the converter, the effect of basic design decisions and fundamental material properties on the overall power density of a converter can be explored.

The project will provide industry and academia with reliable and justified figures for best-in-class power density achievable now and into the future, identify technology bottlenecks into which application of additional resources bring large improvements in achievable power density, illustrate explicitly important trade-offs in modern converter design and provide converter optimisation tools that can be used and extended by academia and industry.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Organisation Website: http://www.cf.ac.uk