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Quantum and SB Electronics form technology partnership to launch next generation hybrid electric drive systems

27 December 2011

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. and SBE, Inc. have formed a technology partnership. As part of this partnership, SBE, Inc. is providing a novel integrated capacitor/bus structure design solutions for Quantum power electronics for automotive applications.

The SBE integrated module is an approach which offers many benefits such as higher performance, weight reduction, smaller packaging and total system cost savings.

Quantum continues to optimize and improve the efficiencies of our advanced electric drive-train products. We expect the SBE integrated capacitor/bus structure to enable substantial packaging and performance advantages in our next generation electric and hybrid-electric drive systems.

—Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO Quantum Technologies

The electrification of the automobile has successfully reached the technical feasibility stage today. Cost improvements are needed to reach the commercial viability stage for mass market acceptance. Cost must be attacked everywhere. The SBE power ring capacitor technology is a major enabler for power electronics design simplification, up-integration, and higher temperature operation to significantly drive down the cost while improving performance.

—Jon Bereisa, Senior Technical Advisor for SBE, Inc.

The ring shape (annular form factor) of the SBE Power Ring Film Capacitor provides extremely low internal losses (ESR) within the film and also provides for the purest form of interconnect symmetry which can lower the inductive properties (ESL).

The main application of the SBE Power Ring Film Capacitor in electric drive systems is for the DC Link Capacitor used in inverters. Typical voltages range from 250V – 1500Vdc and ripple currents range from 40 – 5400 Arms at 10 – 100khz switching frequencies. In earlier applications, Aluminum Electrolytics were used extensively for DC Link capacitors, however, as voltages and ripple currents rise, these may not be the best choice any longer for reliable, size efficient use, SBE says.

The Power Ring Film Capacitor allows for a much reduced capacitor volume and cost for a design’s given ripple current requirement.

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