FPES2020 Future of Power Electronic Systems 2020

This project represents the consistent continuation to our activities for energy-efficient and extremely compact power electronic energy conversion systems. The integration of widebandgap (WBG) semiconductor technologies, such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN), will allow significantly higher switching frequencies at the same or slightly better energy efficiency. The use of these new semiconductor technologies in electrical circuits with an increase of the switching frequency by a factor >10 demands a new methodical approach – the holistic conceptual scheme. This project aims for industrial research of the holistic conceptual scheme as well as SiCand GaN-based demonstrators in order to evaluate the complied concepts.


Our assumption is that by the year 2020 no western PV inverter manufacturer will be able to survive with present technologies! 

To maintain and extend competitiveness it is indispensable to invest in technologies and innovations (innovate or die). Fortunately in the field of PV inverters there is still a lot of room for innovations (unlike to the situation in the field of manufacturing of PV panels).

Fronius and Infineon are actually holding a leading position within power electronics for
PV systems in Austria. In cooperation with local scientific institutions internationally recognized competences have been built up over the last decades.

The present proposal describes the required way to the next generation of power electronic systems with a high potential for differentiation:

  • Substantial cost savings driven by the design (reduced use of primary energy intensive materials like aluminium and copper)
  • Massive savings in volume and weight enable completely new possibilities for mounting and handling.

The above mentioned differentiation in terms of volume and weight can only be achieved by higher energy densities enabled by new switching components made with new materials because of their physical properties. The Superjunction (SJ) MOSFETs of Infineon are the global technological benchmark but Gallium Nitride (GaN) or Silicon Carbide (SiC) is needed. GaN switches will be the best switches in the 600 V range but after about 10 years of research they are still not available with an industrial grade quality.