Electrifying the UK – TPS enters pioneering partnership with industry leaders to develop first ever UK-centric supply chain for next-gen Silicon Carbide Power Electronics

TPS enters ESCAPE project to decarbonise transport through first UK supply chain of Silicon Carbide Power Electronics

TPS is at the forefront of decarbonising the transport landscape while taking on an important role in project ESCAPE, which aims to accelerate the UK’s low carbon capability within the automotive sector. We have teamed up with key players from the automotive and other UK-based manufacturing industries to facilitate the creation of an End-to-end Supply Chain for Automotive Power Electronics (ESCAPE).

Next generation Silicon Carbide (SiC) power semiconductors are a strategic technology that will play a fundamental role in decarbonising our transportation infrastructure. This project is critical to developing the SiC supply chain within the UK and has received £9.8m funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to create ground-breaking technology to support the drive for electrification in the UK and worldwide.

As part of this progressive initiative, TPS will develop a high-frequency rapid Electric Vehicle (EV) charger that directly connects to the Medium Voltage electricity distribution network. Such an approach diminishes the impact of EV rapid charging on local domestic substations and reduces the cost of necessary network reinforcement that will be required to support the drive towards vehicle electrification. Some of our key partners in this project are: McLaren Applied Technologies – project lead, AESIN (Operated by TechWorks), Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC), Clas-Sic Wafer Fab, Exawatt, Lyra Electronics, MaxPower Semiconductor, Tribus-D and The University of Warwick.

Wide bandgap SiC semiconductor technology is rapidly gaining market share, where standard silicon devices have historically dominated, and are becoming a core component in the development of power electronics (PE). This technology facilitates power conversion at remarkable levels of efficiency whilst enabling compact and lightweight electronic converter designs, hence lending themselves ideal to the automotive sector. Developing the Silicon Carbide supply chain from a UK base is essential and is to become increasingly relevant for many transportation sectors including automotive, railway, marine and aviation, and also non-transport applications such as electrical grid interfaces and renewable energy systems.

TPS’s rapid charger using SiC technology is an industry-enabling solution that underpins the electrification revolution, while delivering a suite of benefits to all parties involved:
– CO2/NO2 emissions reduction through the acceleration of EV uptake and helping the UK achieve its challenging Green House Gas emissions targets;
– Enabling rapid charge of longer-range Electric Vehicles, addressing range anxiety which has long formed a commercial barrier to market adoption;
– Operating from higher supply voltages to address concerns about infrastructure and reinforcement costs required to address existing electricity distribution network constraints.

Bearing this in mind, it is no wonder that the UK demand for SiC is on a rapidly rising trajectory, thus leading to a growing requirement for a UK-based supply chain. Domestic expertise in SiC manufacturing and integration into PE systems will allow more and more local manufacturers to include this technology into their processes, hence reducing dependency on international supply chain. Through this project, by securing access to the domestic supply chain, local companies will be able to take their SiC-based products to mature Technology and Manufacturing Readiness Levels. As a leading manufacturer of SiC-based power electronic solutions, TPS was eager to participate in ESCAPE to help facilitate the production of these strategic high value components and their resulting systems within the UK. SiC is one of the key elements that we have been utilising in our latest projects to improve efficiency, reduce weight and size and improve reliability.

As the vast majority of vehicles are still running on fossil fuels, their exhaust gases are responsible for a large proportion of the carbon dioxide produced in the UK. Making these vehicles electrically driven and providing the necessary EV charging infrastructure will ultimately lead to the elimination of emissions associated with transportation and mobility, as well as reducing the UK’s dependency on imported fossil fuels. ESCAPE aims to support the government’s targets of reducing carbon emissions by advancing the transition to zero emissions transport, while bringing together industrial leaders and pioneers from across the supply chain to work as team to deliver this vision.

Dr. Nigel Jakeman, TPS Engineering & Business Development Director, commented:
“We’re excited to be part of this strategic incentive which recognises, not just the importance of SiC technology to developing the automotive and charging infrastructure industry of the future, but also the importance that UK suppliers will have in making it happen. We look forward to working with our partners who span the full supply chain from wafer suppliers through to automotive OEMs to deliver something exceptional and with national significance over the next 3 and a half years”

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

Our team will deliver a presentation on Bi-Directional DC-DC converters @ PCIM Europe 2019

TPS will deliver a presentation at PCIM Europe 2019

Our new projects within the Energy sector are coming to life and this is due to the ground-breaking technologies utilised in our solutions which are mainly deployed for applications in the area of Smart Grid, Electric Vehicle Charging, Renewables, Energy Storage and Railway. As part of our ongoing R&D initiatives, TPS team will be delivering a presentation on a 100kW Bi-Directional DC-DC Converter that uses SiC Mosfets at PCIM Europe on 9 May in Nürnberg.

Global electricity demand is growing rapidly and this is leading towards an increasing penetration of renewable energy generators, such as solar photovoltaics and the uptake of electric vehicles (EV). In this context, the ageing electrical grid requires innovative systems that facilitate the integration of these low carbon technologies into the distribution network and the need for bi-directional power flows is growing. This is where our cutting-edge solutions come in – During PCIM, our team will describe an isolated bi-directional full bridge DC-DC converter developed by TPS which can play a key role in the area of power electronics for smart grid reinforcement.

Want to discover more about our revolutionary solutions? Join TPS at PCIM Europe and listen to our team’s presentation to learn more about our latest innovation.

Conference programme:

Click here to download the programme and find us on page 38 / 39 – Special Session: Smart Transformers

Address:

Room München 1 – NürnbergMesse, Karl-Schönleben-Str. Messeplatz 1
90471 Nürnberg

Dates & Times:

9 May 2019, at 11:15

About PCIM Europe

PCIM is one of the leading power electronic conferences that offers a user-driven platform for industry-specific presentations from the R&D departments of leading companies and universities. Attendees benefit from targeted knowledge transfer and, in first-time publications, specialists report on their latest developments and trends. Conference topics include the latest developments in power semiconductors, passive components, products for thermal management, energy storage, sensors, new materials and systems.

TPS gives speech at Better Networks Forum on our next-gen power converters for Active Response

Wondering what TPS is up to? We are working on a new, much more efficient generation of power converters for both LV and MV networks, as part of Active Response:

Earlier this year TPS’s Engineering & Business Development Director, Dr. Nigel Jakeman, participated as one of the main speakers at the Better Networks Forum, event organised by our partners, UK Power Networks. Here he joined Alex Jakeman – Innovation Project Lead at UK Power Networks – in describing the intricacies of Active Response and our role in this ground-breaking project.

Dr. Nigel Jakeman speaking during Better Networks Forum - event hosted by UK Power Networks

Better Networks Forum took place on 23 January 2019 at the IET, Savoy Place in London and it focused on describing UK Power Networks’ innovative projects that have the primary goal of securing a safer, more efficient and more reliable electricity network.

One of the key projects presented during the Forum referred to the revolutionary Active Response trial for which TPS is providing the hardware platform through our award winning range of power converters that enable the creation of Soft Open Points on the distribution network. This project leads the way to efficiently managing spare network capacity that could save customers £271m and cut more than 448,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030.

Building on the learnings that we have gained from the flagship Flexible Urban Networks (FUN-LV) project, as holders of a key role in Active Response we are now building a new generation of converters that will bring significant benefits to both the Low Voltage (LV) and Medium Voltage (MV) networks. This will lead to a better balance of power between substations to facilitate a higher adoption of low carbon technologies, such as the predicted increase in electric vehicles.

During his speech, Dr. Jakeman explained how the SOP converters works, what our initial power converters had achieved and how we are upgrading these devices to the next level for Active Response.

The main benefits that our next-generation converters will bring to the LV Network can be summarised into:

  • Silent operation due to faster switching
  • Continuous Rating increased by 60%.
  • Electrical Losses halved
  • Forced cooling near eliminated
  • Single sided access to reduce pavement utilisation and enable ease of service, more space efficient

The enabler for the above benefits is Silicon Carbide Semiconductor Switching technology which we are utilising in this project.

At MV level, we are building a Soft Power Bridge (SPB) which will have the same functionality as the LV SOP, however utilising a different architecture to deliver meshing capability at 11kV. To create a commercially viable solution for MV networks, Silicon Carbide comes into play once again for same reasons as for LV: noise, size and loss reduction.

Listen to Dr. Jakeman below to understand more about our next-gen power converters and how we are improving our solutions to better suit the requirements of today’s network:

TPS enters E-LOBSTER consortium to enhance distribution grid stability and reduce electricity losses in Railway networks and Power distribution networks

E-LOBSTER - connecting railway network, electricity grid and EV

Have you ever imagined connecting Railways, Electric Vehicles Chargers, Solar Photovoltaic Cells, Storage Systems and the Electricity Grid?

Well…. TPS and its partners did it!

The entire world is trying to develop more efficient, reliable and greener energy systems and, at the same time, cope with an increasing demand for power.

In addition, the use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) is increasing rapidly and, despite the positive impacts, the introduction of these new power flows on the grid is challenging under the current network configuration. To overcome this, the European Electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and Light-Railway networks are independently developing several programmes. Through these schemes, they are targeting electricity loss reductions, cost optimizations, grid stability control while upholding the demands of Electric Vehicles (EV), energy storage systems and prosumers.

Given this background, a new consortium has emerged to support the combination of all those needs in a project called E-LOBSTER. The name stands for “Electric LOsses Balancing through integrated STorage and power Electronics towards increased synergy between Railways and electricity distribution networks”. Within this consortium, TPS will once again collaborate with Newcastle University and 7 other members: RINA, Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), The University of Birmingham, Lithium Balance, Metro de Madrid, Spanish Railways Foundation (FFE) and The International Association of Public Transport (UITP).

This project intends to create an economically viable and easily replicable Transport-Grid Inter-Connection System that will establish synergies between three main players within the Energy and Transport sectors:

– Electrified urban transport networks (metro, trams, light railways etc.)
– Power distribution networks
– EV charging stations

Creating a connection between these players will enhance distribution grid stability through the inter-exchange of electricity and will lead to a much lower requirement for network reinforcements or upgrades. The enabler to deliver the objectives of the E-LOBSTER project is the use of smart Power Electronic Converters supplied by TPS. This solution will operate under an integrated Railway and Grid Management System which will optimize the capacity of both networks by improving the exchange of electricity between them, while supporting local RES self-consumption.

TPS’ role within this project will be to design, manufacture, deliver and test prototypes of Power Electronic Converters to facilitate resource sharing between the Electricity Distribution and Railway networks, aiming to achieve an integrated system.

E-LOBSTER will demonstrate the functionality of this new system in a real underground railway in Madrid. The railway would be connected to a local power distribution network with a high penetration of RES. The knowledge generated from the project will be further examined with the purpose of developing a superior design for a full-scale system, paving the way towards replication across the EU.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 774392.
Dr. Nigel Jakeman, TPS Engineering & Business Development Director, commented:

“Another great success for TPS, enabling us to further build on the benefits of our family of Smart Grid Converters. On this occasion, we are using our awards-winning Power Electronic Converters in an application that can benefit both Distribution Network Operators and Rail Operators alike. Other projects where we have used our Smart Converters are Renewable Traction Power and Flexible Urban Networks. We’re looking forward to working with our partners and demonstrating this truly novel and value adding system.”

 

For further information, please contact:

Nigel Jakeman, Engineering & Business Development Director

+44 (0) 191 482 9240 / njakeman@turbopowersystems.com

Or

Ioana Briciu, Marketing Assistant

+44 (0) 191 482 9278 / ibriciu@turbopowersytems.com

TPS will develop a Smart System that will allow Electric Vehicles to give power back to the National Grid. Let’s power-up using Low Carbon Technologies!

Vehicle-to-Grid - Smart Hubs Demonstrator project - TPS

More success for TPS and our partners! ….. following on from our recent funding award Smart Hubs, which creates a DC micro grid integrating electric vehicles (EV), battery storage, PV solar cells and smart converters; the project has now won further recognition from Innovate – the UK Research and Innovation body – taking this ground-breaking approach closer to commercialisation.

Our newly awarded project Smart Hubs Demonstrator will deliver these systems into real life applications to demonstrate the benefits afforded to creating a DC micro grid to integrate electric vehicles, battery storage and solar PV generation in a public car parking area.

The consortium – which includes, along with TPS, system integrator Flexisolar, energy aggregator Flexitricity and also Smart Power Systems – will demonstrate its full capabilities and expertise in delivering and operating a full-scale system that can seamlessly manage supply and demand of power on a DC network, maximising returns to the car park operator whilst relieving strain on the local AC electricity distribution network.

Solar carports are stand-alone structures which provide shelter for cars, but they are also designed to support a roof covering of solar panels. Moreover, these carports can also support energy exchange between Electric Vehicle owners. The Smart Hubs Demonstrator project will illustrate how the energy, which is stored in EV batteries and bulk battery systems, can be utilised by the electrical grid system during peak times. EV owners would be able to charge their cars while parked in the solar carport, however, when not being used, the car can remain connected thus allowing the power grid to utilise a proportion of the stored capacity in the vehicle during times of higher demand.

This type of energy exchange between the electricity network, EVs and battery storage systems represents the main functionality of this particular Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) system. V2G is an exciting initiative which will support the reinforcement of the distribution network while maximising the benefits and incentives to both consumers and Distribution Network Operators alike.

The consortium aims to combine the following:
– Clean energy generation from Solar Carports.
– The versatility of Energy Storage systems available via EV Charge Points.
– Grid asset optimisation using intelligent smart grid converters.

For this project TPS will be utilising the latest generation of Power Converters to allow capacity sharing between the above-mentioned energy sources. These Power Converters are being developed for another one of our flagship projects – Active Response – where we are collaborating with UK Power Networks to release spare network capacity, significantly reduce customer bills and ultimately achieve a greener electricity supply in the near future.

Smart Hubs has been created to facilitate the integration of Low Carbon Technologies into the distribution network whilst minimising their impact on the ageing network infrastructure. Smart Hubs Demonstrator aims to push forward the opportunity for V2G systems to be implemented across up to six (6) locations during the project. It is designed to develop a two-way V2G charger using cutting-edge Silicon Carbide (SiC) power electronics, which is a new technology that will replace conventional silicon in power electronics, and at the same time bring a suite of benefits to this project including: lower energy consumption, small space envelope and lighter equipment with improved reliability.

Dr. Nigel Jakeman, TPS Engineering & Business Development Director, commented:

These are exciting times for the power electronics industry and in particular for TPS. Together with our project partners, we find ourselves delivering ground breaking solutions in the Smart Grid arena, this time illustrating the benefits of integrating Low Carbon Technologies into a DC microgrid system delivering benefits to multiple stakeholders including consumers, DNOs and energy resellers. The principle of supporting the electricity distribution network using Vehicle-to-Grid technology is in itself a key future technology as we strive to deliver cost effective methods of keeping the lights on across the UK.

 

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 / ibriciu@turbopowersytems.com