UQM Technologies Receives $750,000 to Advance Development of a Silicon Carbide Electronic Controller
UQM Technologies has been awarded an additional $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contract from the US Air Force to advance the development of a silicon carbide (SiC) electronic motor controller.
The two-year effort will focus on improving the power density and packaging of previous generations of silicon carbide power modules that have been developed in other Air Force programs. Coincident with this project, UQM will convert a conventional pickup truck to all-electric operation using a motor controller containing the higher power silicon carbide modules that are being developed.
The operating results of the testbed will then be compared to those of other all-electric pickup truck testbeds operating with earlier generations of the silicon carbide modules.
The controller is being developed for the USAF Advanced Power Technology Office of the 542nd Combat Sustainment Wing at Robins Air Force Base in cooperation with the US Army National Automotive Center and Mississippi State University.
This project creates another opportunity to showcase our 160 horsepower propulsion system and advance the commercial prospects of silicon carbide power modules by reducing their size and improving power density. Improvements in power density and packaging are important attributes in reducing the production cost of the modules and their potential to achieve commercial success.—Jon Lutz, UQM Technologies Director of Engineering
Silicon-carbide power electronics can operate at higher temperatures, power densities and frequencies than conventional silicon semiconductors, resulting in smaller, lighter, and simpler electrical systems—especially of benefit for hybrid and electric vehicles.