PI: Raja Ayyanar, Arizona State University.
The project aims to develop high power density and high efficiency power converters for the dc-dc power conversion stage of electric vehicle propulsion drive exploiting the game-changing features of wide bandgap devices. Thermal management is a major challenge in the motor drive power converters which is addressed through significant improvement in power conversion efficiency by a combination of wide bandgap devices, novel topologies and advanced PWM/control methods. Power density is a critical metric for electric vehicles which is addressed by a high frequency switching and PWM methods that result in low filter requirement. Recently there has been tremendous interest in SiC and GaN devices for automotive applications, but several issues need to be still addressed before widespread adoption including gate drive, EMI and high dv/dt issues, lack of significant field experience/data with new devices, and new topologies that can better utilize the characteristics of these devices, as attempted in this project. The project involves optimization of the power conversion architecture, developing new zero voltage switching topologies for the dc-dc stage, and demonstrating these advanced concepts in hardware prototypes with scaled specifications.