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BorgWarner receives $4.97M DOE award for SiC-based high power-dense inverter

BorgWarner is the recipient of a $4.97 million US Department of Energy (DOE) Award for the development of a Scalable Ultra Power-dense Extended Range (SUPER) inverter. This research and development project is one of 24 university and industry-led projects that collectively were awarded $60 million in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions from the transportation sector. (Earlier post.)

BorgWarner is leading this 39-month project and working with Infineon Technologies Americas Corp., PolyCharge America, Inc., the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Virginia Tech as partners to bring the SUPER inverter to fruition. Wolfspeed, Inc. will be a key supplier.

The goal of the project is to develop an advanced inverter that is smaller, more efficient and more cost-effective than inverters on the market today, with the intent of enabling 800-volt electrified vehicles to meet or exceed the DOE solicitation target of 100kW per liter of power density.

Additionally, project plans call for a design that allows high power density with power scaling between 100 kW and 300 kW and can be used either as a standalone device or integrated into a drive unit that includes a motor and gearbox.

During the first year of the project, which begins this month, the group will create the concept for the entire silicon carbide (SiC) based inverter system. In the second year, the team will make all critical components that make up the inverter, including the power module and capacitor, and finalize the inverter’s design. The final year will be used for validation of the components and the SUPER inverter. Once complete, the team expects to take the technology from development to production relatively quickly.

Viper_inverter-2

Viper inverter power switch (earlier post). Viper was originally developed by Delphi Technologies; BorgWarner acquired Delphi Technologies in October 2020.


For this project, we will be leveraging our experience with our unique and high-performing 800V Viper silicon carbide based inverter, advancing the concept with a building block approach and increasing component integration to achieve higher performance targets and ultimately expand its commercial potential. We expect the number of high-voltage EVs to sharply increase in the coming years and this scalable, high power density inverter will help expedite adoption.

—Dr. Stefan Demmerle, President and General Manager, BorgWarner PowerDrive Systems

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