Dr. Jon Zhang Joins PowerAmerica Team

Dr. Jon Zhang has joined PowerAmerica as Director of Power Device Technology. Zhang received his PhD in 2001 from the University of South Carolina, and has spent the last 16 years innovating in SiC power devices. Zhang is a world-renowned engineer with an extensive record of achievement, including a book chapter on SiC devices; coauthor of more than 75 technical papers and conference presentations; and the first inventor on 64 U.S. and numerous international patents with more applications pending.

Career milestones also include demonstrating the industry first reported trench MOSFET with dual buffer layers on SiC (2005), first reported 12 kV IGBT on SiC (2007), first reported trench Schottky diode on SiC (2009), first reported BJT with high current gain of >100 on SiC (2010), first reported 12 kV Gate turn-off Thyristor on SiC (2011), and first reported 12 kV optically triggered Gate turn-off Thyristor on SiC (2012).

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Dr. Zhang’s caliber join PowerAmerica,” said Deputy Executive Director and CTO Dr. Victor Veliadis. “He has an outstanding track record of accomplishment in power semiconductor devices and will play a key role in supporting the PowerAmerica goal of creating US manufacturing jobs through accelerated adoption of SiC and GaN power electronics.”

PowerAmerica Releases Annual Report

PowerAmerica has released an annual report detailing its successes in its second full year of operation, which ended June 30, 2017.

The report provides an overview of the institute as well as detailed write-ups of almost 40 member projects in the areas of foundry and device development, module development and manufacturing, commercialization applications and education and workforce development.

View and download the report here.

PowerAmerica Celebrates National Manufacturing Day

From L to R, John Nicholson (NCDEQ), Jason Massey (industrial.io), Dr. Raoul Farer (Freudenberg Performance Materials), Dr. Dave Grider (Wolfspeed).

PowerAmerica and the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) joined together Thursday, Oct. 5 to host a National Manufacturing Day “Smart Speaker Series” at the PowerAmerica offices in Raleigh.

The panel featured John Nicholson, Chief Deputy Secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ); as well as industry representatives Jason Massey of industrial.io, Raoul Farer of Freudenberg Performance Materials, and Dave Grider from Wolfspeed – a Cree Company.  They spoke to a crowd of about 50 people.  Moderating the panel was Nick Justice, Executive Director of PowerAmerica.

The combination of state government and representation from the advanced manufacturing industry made for an interesting and varied discussion. Collaboration was a key topic, as NCDEQ expressed a desire to forge stronger relationships with regional cleantech startups and the State Energy Office.

Another topic of discussion centered around the fact that many advanced manufacturing technologies (such as electric vehicles) are at a tipping point of being adopted on a wider scale. Dave Grider of Wolfspeed gave the example of silicon carbide being on the verge of rapidly replacing silicon in power electronics products.

All in all, it was a fantastic National Manufacturing Day event highlighting exciting industry advances, particularly those surrounding the theme of energy efficiency.

Panel presentations can be accessed here.

Join Us for PowerAmerica’s Monthly Technical Webinar Series Oct. 4

Qiang Li, Research Asst Prof, Power Electronic Systems

Dr. Qiang Li of Virginia Tech will speak about his work on a high frequency modular medium voltage AC to low voltage DC (400 VDC) system that is scalable for micro-grids during PowerAmerica’s monthly technical webinar series from noon to 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 4. Li’s presentation is titled High Frequency Modular Power Conversion from Medium Voltage AC to Low Voltage DC

Biography

Dr. Qiang Li received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Power Electronics from Zhejiang University, China and a Ph.D. degree from Virginia Tech in 2011. He is currently an assistant professor in the Center for Power Electronics Systems at Virginia Tech. His research interests include distributed power systems, high-frequency power conversion, and high-density electronics packaging and integration.

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PowerAmerica Partners with RTCC to Host National Manufacturing Day Breakfast Event Oct. 5

On Thursday, Oct. 5, PowerAmerica and the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster will hold a National Manufacturing Day event as part of RTCC’s SMART Series entitled, “Innovating the Next Wave of Manufacturing.” The free event will be from 8 to 10 a.m. at the PowerAmerica Offices on N.C. State’s Centennial Campus, and will feature speakers from some of the region’s most innovative manufacturers. Breakfast will be provided.

To learn more about this event and register, visit the event website. We hope to see you there!

PowerAmerica Offers Short Course on SiC and GaN Power Electronics Technology

As part of its ongoing efforts to accelerate the development of a highly educated wide bandgap power electronics manufacturing workforce, PowerAmerica will offer a Wide Bandgap Devices and Applications short course Nov. 7-9 at its offices in Raleigh.

“This course was tailored very specifically to meet the current needs of the power electronics industry. We sought input from more than 20 industry leaders to determine existing workforce knowledge gaps, then analyzed this information in detail to create a course that will equip attendees with the tools needed to succeed in this quickly accelerating technological field,” said PowerAmerica Deputy Executive Director and CTO Victor Veliadis.

The goal is to introduce power electronics professionals to the basics and benefits of silicon carbide and gallium nitride technology, so they can effectively incorporate it into their products and systems. Power electronics applications engineers, power device engineers, SiC and GaN technical marketing professionals, and power electronics business and product line managers are all encouraged to attend.

Led by a team of wide bandgap technology experts from industry and academia, the course will provide participants with experience through applications-specific examples in areas such as power converters, electric vehicles and motor drives, as well as a hands-on laboratory demos.

The course is available for $1,200 for PowerAmerica members and $1,800 for non-members. View the full schedule and register here.

New Manufacturing Process for SiC Power Devices Eases Company Entry into SiC Market

Jay Baliga, who developed the PRESiCE process.

 

Researchers from North Carolina State University are rolling out a new manufacturing process and chip design for silicon carbide (SiC) power devices, which can be used to more efficiently regulate power intechnologies that use electronics. The process – called PRESiCETM – was developed with support from the PowerAmerica Institute funded by the Department of Energy to make it easier for companies to enter the SiC marketplace and develop new products.

Read the whole story on N.C. State’s website.

Join Us for PowerAmerica’s Monthly Technical Webinar Series Wednesday, Sept. 6

Dr. Victor Veliadis, CTO and Deputy Executive Director of PowerAmerica, will give a presentation, “SiC Processing – An Exercise in Si Fabrication with a High Temperature Twist,” on the advantages of silicon carbide over other power materials and SiC devices currently developed for power applications during PowerAmerica’s monthly technical webinar series on Wednesday, Sept. 6 from noon to 1 p.m. EDT.

Dr. Veliadis received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and worked at Northrop Grumman for a number of years designing, fabricating and testing SiC SITs, JFETs, MOSFETs and diodes in the 1-12 kV range before joining PowerAmerica in 2016. He has 24 issued patents to his credit and is a senior member of IEEE, an IEEE EDS Distinguished Lecturer, and has served in the ECSCRM, ICSCRM, WiPDA, and ISPSD organizing committees. Read his full biography. 

 

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PowerAmerica Request for Information (RFI) Now Open For Public Input

PowerAmerica is seeking public input on initiatives to accelerate the large-scale adoption of silicon carbide and gallium nitride technology in power electronic systems in a wide range of industries.

Responses are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28.

The information collected will assist PowerAmerica in developing a specific request for project proposals from industry for possible funding.

View the RFI and submit comments here.

Wolfspeed Develops All-SiC Power Modules for High Voltage Applications with Assistance from PowerAmerica

The Wolfspeed SiC Power Module with built-in diode.

With funding assistance from PowerAmerica, SiC device and power module company Wolfspeed has developed first-of-its-kind silicon carbide power modules for 3.3 kV and 10 kV applications. According to the company, this is the first SiC power module at these voltage levels to use exclusively the MOSFET built-in body diode as the anti-parallel rectifier.

A built-in diode has numerous advantages over an external and additional diode device. The built-in diode or “body diode” design maximizes the performance of SiC MOSFET modules by freeing up space in the power module, allowing for more power capability and therefore increased performance in a smaller space. It also makes assembling a power module easier, boosting long-term reliability and optimizing costs.

“Essentially, we’re doubling the power and therefore increasing supply chain capability by providing another solution at higher power levels – specifically at the 3.3 kV and 10 kV applications,” said Ty McNutt, director of business development at Wolfspeed’s Fayetteville, AR location.

PowerAmerica funding helped the company manufacture and test the modules. During testing, Wolfspeed was able to demonstrate the power improvement gained by not having the additional diodes.

Currently, these Wolfspeed power modules are being offered to PowerAmerica members and select customers.