Siemens to collaborate more closely with Semikron on automotive power electronics; takes over Semikron subsidiary
22 February 2013
|VePoint’s VPID integrated inverter and DC/DC converter. Click to enlarge.|
The Siemens Drive Technologies Division has signed a cooperation agreement with Semikron International in order to intensify future collaboration between the two in power electronics for electric vehicles. Under the agreement, Siemens has taken over the fully owned Semikron subsidiary VePOINT; The two companies have agreed to keep the purchase price confidential.
VePOINT develops power electronic components and systems, based on Semikron SKiN technology, specifically for the hybrid and electric vehicle market. SKiN technology is a flexible foil used in place of wire bonds and, in combination with sinter technology, allows double inverter power density, leading to a 35% reduction in inverter volume, Semikron says. The driver interface uses springs contacting the surface of the flexible foil.
VePOINT has developed its own inverter platform which features a compact design, high power densities, an optional combination of inverter and DC/DC converter, high power/weight ratios and maximum reliability. These performance features are achieved with SKiN technology.
The VePOINT VPID unit, for example, integrates a three phase Inverter and a DC-DC Converter and features a compact volume (5.5 liters) and can achieve a high power density (20 kW/l) in a very light weight packaging (8.5 kg).
The implemented modular concept allows the VPID power electronic unit to be simply configured as Integrated Inverter and DC-DC Converter or as a standalone Inverter or as a standalone DC-DC Converter unit while the scalability of the integrated functionalities permits to cover a wide range of applications.
The scalable approach permits to cover applications from 30 kW up to 100 kW electric motor power in harsh environments.
These solutions complement the Siemens range of products by adding systems with attractive power densities and power/weight ratios for automobile applications.
With the acquisition of VePOINT and the associated widening of its power electronics portfolio, Siemens Drive Technologies is pushing ahead with the further expansion of its Inside e-Car Business Unit. The cooperation agreement between Siemens and Semikron will also see a continuation of the existing close collaboration of the two companies in the field of innovative power modules, Siemens said.
The cooperation with Semikron and the acquisition of VePOINT are important milestones for us on our way toward achieving a high degree of integration in the entire drive train. This widens the Siemens range of motors, inverters, speed sensors and gearboxes by adding further innovative e-Car power electronics.—Jörg Grotendorst, CEO of the Siemens Inside e-Car Business Unit
".. leading to a 35% reduction in inverter volume"
EVs have spawned a thousand power electronics improvements like this(usually cheaper) that seldom get the media coverage batteries do.
Posted by: kelly | 22 February 2013 at 06:59 AM
Very good point Kelly - also electric motors, mostly in regards to power density and heat tolerance.
Posted by: Bill | 22 February 2013 at 08:21 AM
For some reasons, e-ancillaries, controls and chargers are developing faster than batteries and ultra light weight bodies. However, all of it is required for future higher performance EVs.
Posted by: HarveyD | 22 February 2013 at 08:30 AM
I wonder if this can also be combined with GaN electronics for even smaller, more efficient inverters?
Posted by: DaveD | 22 February 2013 at 07:46 PM
A logical move so that Siemans can develop offer an excellent packaged motor/controller.
Posted by: Lad | 22 February 2013 at 11:06 PM