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Power Electronics Europe Events
EPE ECCE Europe in Hannover
August 19, 2022 - September 12, 2022

The layout of the conference has been adjusted in order to underline the importance of the Dialogue Sessions. These will take place around mid-day of all three main conference days. They will take place in the same hall as the exhibition. Thursday Sept. 8 is a full conference day featuring inspiring lecture sessions and panel discussions in the afternoon (ending 6:00 pm). A social event in the evening will close the day.

Conference focus topics range from the latest technological achievements in components and battery technology, which are pushing the boundaries of what is technically possible, to highly up-to-date application trends, such as the electrification of mobility on land and in the air, and the growing importance of hydrogen interfaced with electricity through power electronics. “Most importantly, you will have the opportunity to talk directly to the authors and to meet and network with your peers at the conference and our social events,” underlined Axel Mertens, General Chairman of the EPE Conference.

The conference will highlight several Focus Topics. Three of them cover the latest technology trends that will be driving future innovation in power electronics, while the three other topics cover important application trends that will have a tremendous impact on future markets and requirements for power electronic systems. The keynotes will follow these topics.

From WBG devices to hydrogen

Six keynotes will be presented throughout the EPE Conference this year.

The first is entitled “Shaping the transition from Si-based power devices to SiC MOSFETs and GaN HEMTs” by Dr. Gerald Deboy, Infineon Technologies Austria AG.

With an expected growth of SiC-device and module volumes to around $6 bn and GaN HEMTs to $2 bn in the next 5 years the transition from Si-based power devices to their corresponding WBG technologies is now fully on its way. The advantages being created by wide bandgap devices on system level will outweigh their higher costs on device level. These benefits are as diverse as the applications where wide bandgap power devices will be considered in the first place. SiC MOSFETs have started in the field of Photovoltaics by improving efficiency and size/weight of the PV inverter and are now penetrating the main inverter offering a range extension of up to 8 %. GaN HEMTs first made an impact on chargers for mobile phones and laptops by enabling form factors up to now unachievable. An outlook on future trends and applications will close the talk.

Yi Cuifrom Stanford University will discuss “Reinventing Batteries Through Nanotechnology”.

The fast growth of portable power sources for transportation and grid-scale stationary storage presents great opportunities for new battery chemistries. How to increase energy density, reduce cost, speed up charging, extend life, enhance safety and reuse/recycle are critical challenges. Here we utilize nanoscience to reinvent batteries and address many of challenges by understanding the materials and interfaces through new tools and providing new materials guiding principles. The topics to be discussed include 1) a breakthrough tool of cryogenic electron microscopy, leading to atomic scale resolution of fragile battery materials and interfaces; 2) materials design to enable high capacity materials - Si and Li metal anodes and S cathodes; 3) interfacial design with polymer and inorganic coating to enhance cycling efficiency of battery electrodes; 4) new electrolyte design; and 5) new battery chemistry for grid scale storage.

The third keynote comprises “Advancing GaN Power ICs: Efficiency, Reliability & Autonomy” to be given by Dan Kinzer from NAVITAS SEMICONDUCTOR.

GaN is a next-generation ‘wide-bandgap’ semiconductor, replacing legacy silicon chips in power electronic systems. To maximize the full potential of GaN’s superior performance traits, Navitas monolithically integrates power, drive, and control to enable up to 3 times faster charging and 3 times more power in half the size and weight for mobile fast chargers, consumer electronics, solar, data centers and electric vehicles.

Integration is key with GaN power devices due to their extremely high switching speeds and sensitive gate characteristics. The next generation of GaN power ICs enable even higher efficiency, autonomy, and reliability with precision sensing of system current, voltage and temperature with real-time control and protection. Implementing integrated loss-less current sensing, external monitoring components such as large, lossy sense resistors are eliminated, reducing system power loss, complexity and system cost. Offering GaN’s superior performance and switching speed alongside the highest level of protection and sensing, GaN power ICs can be confidently used in higher power applications with stringent regulations for efficiency and reliability, such as solar inverters, motor drives, server power, EV Onboard Chargers (OBC) and DC/DC systems.

The “Electrification Strategy of Volkswagen Group” will be explained by Alexander Krick, VOLKSWAGEN AG.

By 2030, the global market for electric vehicles will have caught up with that of combustion engines, including in terms of sales volume. With a view to tapping into the revenue streams offered by the new world of mobility, we are in the process of developing industry-leading platforms. The platform approach will be the key to success in the technological world of tomorrow. These platforms form the backbone of the strategy and provide high-quality, industry leading technology at unprecedented scale and competitive cost. The Scalable System Platform (SSP) will allow us to reduce complexity. It covers the entire product portfolio, from entry models to high-end vehicles.

The Group Components Technical Development division for E-Drive and Transmission, based at Kassel, Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt locations, is taking a leading role in the development of electric drivetrains for the SSP. One area of focus is the Group-wide responsibility to develop all future inverters. Therefore we are designing a modular system for future drivetrains on the SSP platform. Our aim is to design electric drivetrains that are the best-in-class. Inverter and software are the key components in this regard.

Make it Fly - The Future of Sustainable Aviation” is the keynote subject of Tanja NEULAND from AIRBUS OPERATIONS GmbH.

Even if the impact of aviation on global warming is "only 3.5 %", in absolute terms we are speaking about gigatons of CO2, which must be massively reduced by 2050: net zero CO2 by 2050 is the goal.

To support this, Airbus wants to be a pioneer of decarbonized aviation and already in 2018, Airbus decided to take disruptive steps and continued to do so during the Corona crisis. We evaluate hydrogen powered propulsion technologies in regards to electronics & electric motors, fuel cells, liquid hydrogen storage and gas turbines. The fuel cell uses hydrogen to convert it into electrical energy. The electrical power of the fuel cell is used via power electronics to drive electric motors, which are connected to the propeller shaft via gears.

Hydrogen direct combustion is the second form of drive for the propeller shaft. For this, the hydrogen (ideally in liquid form) is compressed and then sprayed into the combustion chamber. The heat generated by the ignition is used in a thermodynamic process to drive the shaft via turbine blades (similar to a classic jet engine). But on the way to this goal there are still some challenges to overcome → technically, logistically and also politically.

The final keynote by Dr. Stefan Linder from Alpiq AG, Switzerland covers “The Instrumental but Extremely Challenging Role of Hydrogen Towards a Decarbonized Society”.

The energy transition, which in fact should be correctly named climate transition, holds unprecedented challenges that are widely underestimated. The presentation will start with a cruising altitude view that explains why all current efforts are much too slow and not orchestrated well enough to successfully meet the 2-degree target. It is shown that a successful decarbonization must be based on a few cornerstones that must be addressed swiftly, relentlessly, and in a globally coordinated manner.

Hydrogen belongs to these pillars. It will be explained why hydrogen is so important, but also why there is no chance that hydrogen can develop quickly enough, unless there is both a national and a global consensus and coordinated action to overcome the barriers. The question also arises as to what role power electronics will play in the development of a hydrogen infrastructure. The presentation will show that power electronics will not be the glamorous main cast, but that it will be an indispensable and ubiquitous team member, playing its role mostly out of the limelight. AS



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