TPS & partners take Automotive Power Electronics to the next level! £1.3M received by UK Gallium Nitride consortium for GaNTT project

TPS enters Vertical GaNTT consortium to advance Automotive Power Electronics

Hybrid and full Electric vehicles represent one key area where stakeholders from the automotive industry are increasingly concentrating their efforts to produce more efficient and cost-effective components, such as DC-DC converters. To support multiple stakeholders and advance the UK’s automotive sector, TPS has taken a collaborative role in the vertical GaNTT project led by the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC).

This visionary project has received £1.3m funding from the OLEV (the Office for Low Emission Vehicles) through “The road to zero emission vehicles” competition. We will be working alongside CSC and other partners from the power electronics supply chain such as Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult, Newport Wafer Fab and SPTS Technologies. The consortium will also receive academic support in the power systems arena from the University of Swansea and Coventry University.

Wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors such as Gallium Nitride (GaN) are becoming one of the prevailing technologies in delivering more cost-effective, compact, lightweight and efficient power electronics systems for automotive applications such as Electric Vehicles. These facilitate outstanding system performance levels and can lead to lower lifetime costs compared to standard silicon.

Through GaNTT (Realisation of a mass manufacturable Vertical GaN Trench FET architecture), we aim to drive the development of a new process platform to advance Automotive Power Electronics where GaN is a core element. This voltage-scalable vertical GaN process platform (200V – 600V) will be suitable for, amongst others, Electric Vehicle applications and the resulting device will be evaluated in application as part of the project.

TPS will play an important role within the consortium as we will provide a Tier 1 automotive testing environment where we will assess prototype GaN devices against standard silicon by integrating them into a bidirectional DC-DC converter for EV.

Our vision is to deliver performance improvements that are in line with the Power Electronics Roadmap published by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). The roadmap sets challenging cost and efficiency targets for future power devices that couldn’t be met with conventional silicon-based technology. The 2035 targets for inverters and DC-DC converters are ambitious and will only be possible to reach using wide band gap (WBG) materials such as GaN.

Vertical GaN architectures are ideal for low to medium voltage and power applications such as On-board Charging (OBC) and DC-DC applications where higher switching speed is favoured. Our new ground-breaking GaNTT project outlines a clear route to meeting these targets through a UK-based supply chain.

This cross-cutting technology will not only be beneficial for automotive applications, but also suitable for the aerospace, defence and space sectors. The outcomes of GaNTT project will deliver the ambitious COx and NOx reduction targets set by the UK government and therefore will have a positive impact on important environmental challenges to the benefit of all UK citizens.

Dr. Nigel Jakeman, TPS Engineering & Business Development Director, commented:
“Vertical GaNTT can deliver a new generation of device that can see Gallium Nitride finally being adopted in higher power applications. We’re delighted to be part of the program and to be working with our partners, in particular to be assisting with delivery of the exciting semiconductor devices of the future.“

For further information, please contact:
Dr. Nigel Jakeman, Engineering & Business Development Director
+44 (0) 191 482 9240 / njakeman@turbopowersystems.com
Or
Ioana Briciu, Marketing Assistant
+44 (0) 191 482 9278 / marketing@turbopowersytems.com

We have been highly commended at the Railway Industry Innovation Awards 2019

Highly commended certificate for TPS at the Railway Industry Innovation Awards 2019

Once again TPS has proven that innovation is at the core of its solutions! Last week at the Railway Industry Innovation Awards we have received a highly commended certificate in the Environment Category due to our efficient Auxiliary Power Supply (APS) units that we are developing for London Underground.

These state-of-the-art APS units are being built for Bombardier Transportation and will be fitted into 680 cars of LU Central Line. The technology we have incorporated in these power converters will lead to improved energy efficiency for the trains and a lower total cost of ownership for the operator.

Feet owners, rail operators and train builders are continuously searching for ways to minimise maintenance costs, improve system efficiency, reduce carbon footprint, whilst increasing fleet availability and reliability. TPS is addressing all of these challenges and has brought BT a truly clever solution to improve LU’s fleet. Our key innovation entails the employment of cutting-edge Silicon Carbide (SiC) technology in the Central Line APS which will bring a suite of benefits to the operator, including:

  • Reduced cooling requirements and optimised system costs
  • Reduced weight and size, along with higher efficiency levels
  • Minimised system complexity and improved reliability

Our APS equipment for LU is designed for increased availability and can withstand severe rail environment. All APS components are located in a compact under-floor mounted enclosure which is naturally cooled, this way leading to minimum maintenance requirements. These systems represent a core component of BT’s refurbishment programme for Central Line. Our innovative equipment is aimed to service all on-board equipment including LED lighting in the carriages, saloon ventilation, door system, CCTV and battery charging.

We are one of the very few companies that are utilising wide band gap semiconductors like SiC in developing our power electronics products and we are honoured to receive recognition within this prestigious competition for our pioneering work in the Rolling Stock market.

As we are continuously striving to deliver innovative, efficient and greener solutions, being highly commended in the Environment category is an acknowledgement of our pedigree and capabilities in the power electronics field.

If you wish to find out more about our cutting-edge APS for LU Central Line and other rail solutions, please contact TPS through sales@turbopowersystems.com.

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About the event: The Railway Industry Innovation Awards was founded in 1998 and represent the longest-standing awards scheme in the UK railway industry. Further information about this award is available on www.4thfriday.co.uk/railway-industry-innovation-awards/