Google and the IEEE Power Electronics Society established the Little Box Challenge to stimulate the development of inverters, key components of both solar energy installations and EV systems.
The challenge to engineers: “Figure out how to shrink an inverter down to something smaller than a laptop (a reduction of 10× in volume), and you’ll win a million dollars (and help revolutionize electricity for the next century).”
The competition included more than 2,000 teams, and the million-dollar prize was awarded to CE+T Power’s Red Electrical Devils, who presented their entry at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and successfully passed exhaustive testing. Their winning 2 kVA inverter produced a power density of 143 Watts/cubic inch.
Gallium nitride power transistors from GaN Systems were critical parts of the winning design.
“The reduced gate drive and switching losses of GaN Systems’ GS66508P were critical to our thermal and power density goals,” said team member and CE+T Power VP Olivier Bomboir. “We were impressed at how reliably the devices performed over the months of rigorous, real-world testing by the NREL team.”
“Gallium nitride semiconductors are instrumental in helping power design engineers respond to the need to develop more efficient power conversion solutions,” said GaN Systems CEO Jim Witham. “GaN technology clearly paves the way toward more powerful, compact and efficient inverter designs.”
Source: GaN Systems