(Keynote) Current and Future Directions in Power Electronic Devices and Circuits Based on Wide Band-Gap Semiconductors

Tuesday, 3 October 2017: 08:30
Chesapeake A (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
I. C. Kizilyalli, D. W. Cunningham (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy), J. S. Manser (Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy), and E. P. Carlson (Booz Allen Hamilton)
Electricity generation currently accounts for 40% of primary energy consumption in the U.S., and over the next 25 years is projected to increase more than 50% worldwide.  Electricity continues to be the fastest growing form of end-use energy. Power electronics are responsible for controlling and converting electrical power to provide optimal conditions for transmission, distribution, and load-side consumption. Estimates suggest that the fraction of electricity processed through power electronics could be as high as 80% in the US by 2030 (including generation and consumption), approximately a twofold increase over the current proportion. Development of advanced power electronics with exceptional efficiency, reliability, functionality, and form factor will provide the U.S. with a competitive advantage in deployment of advanced energy technologies. Additionally, widespread integration of innovative converters offers substantial energy saving opportunities both directly, by inherently more efficient designs, and indirectly, by facilitating higher levels of adoption for fundamentally higher performing materials. High impact opportunities exist across a variety of applications, including power supplies, motor drives, automotive (including DC fast charging infrastructure), data centers, and aerospace, as well as grid and distributed energy resources (wind, solar PV, MV/HVDC, FACTS). Fast switching power semiconductor devices are the key to increasing the efficiency and reducing the size of power electronic systems. For the last three decades, silicon power devices (MOSFETS, IGBTs, and diodes) have dominated the power device market. During this time there have been tremendous improvements in silicon power device performance. However, these devices are now approaching the physical limits of silicon. Alternative wide-band gap semiconductor materials, such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) are enabling a new generation of power devices that will far exceed the performance of silicon-based devices. Wide band-gap semiconductors enable continued improvement of the efficiency and reduced system size of power electronics. In this presentation, future directions in emerging wide bandgap semiconductor devices will be discussed. Furthermore, we will discuss the development and deployment of a new class of efficient, lightweight, and reliable power converters through transformational advances in circuit topologies, advanced control and drive electronics, and innovative packaging.