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