Hillcrest Energy Technologies, a developer of power conversion technologies and control system solutions for next-generation electrical systems, and Hercules Electric Mobility, a company bringing electric propulsion systems to market for recreational boating and marine applications, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
Under the terms of the MOU, the companies will collaborate on a project to build, test and potentially commercialize a system that includes a Hillcrest 250 kW, 800 V inverter that has been optimized for a Hercules electric powertrain.
Hillcrest’s 250 kW continuous, 350 kW peak, 800 V nominal, 1,000 V peak SiC inverter prototype has an estimated volume of 6.5 liters and anticipated power density of ± 50 kW/L.
As part of the project, they will collaborate on a series of configurations using the Hillcrest inverter in the Hercules electric propulsion system to test and work towards the end goal of demonstrating a powertrain containing an optimized Hillcrest inverter.
The project will begin this month and is expected to run through March 2023, with potential applications including marine, automotive and other electric mobility products.
With a shared modular design philosophy, our companies have a lot of synergies. This approach allows us both to adapt to customer needs, integrate the latest technologies into our products, and improve speed to market. The Hercules team brings an impressive depth of experience and we’re proud to join forces with them on our first development MOU.—Hillcrest CEO Don Currie
Designed to be smaller, lighter and more powerful than currently available inverters, Hillcrest technology is built on proprietary control software. This software combined with unique hardware design know-how overcomes traditional challenges faced with current wide bandgap devices.
Hillcrest inverter technology has been proven in product-development testing to reduce losses and deliver new levels of efficiency and performance in future generations of electric drive systems. This shared modular, customizable design provides the flexibility to meet customer needs quickly and to adapt to the most up-to-date technologies.
Hercules Electric Mobility, Inc. was founded in 2018 by James Breyer, an auto-industry veteran who worked in advanced engineering on multiple electric vehicle projects with global automakers. Hercules is initially focused on bringing electric propulsion systems to market for recreational boating and marine applications through its Hercules Electric Marine brand.
Since then, Hercules has developed and built advanced electric propulsion technology in a modular design that is driven by electronic controls and software. The Hercules 200-kilowatt e-Drive system was recently selected by Coach Marine Group as the electric propulsion system it will use in its Coach and Xcursion branded pontoon boats.
If all milestones are met, Hillcrest and Hercules expect to enter into a definitive commercialization agreement.