PowerAmerica, a public-private partnership between industry, the U.S. Department of Energy, national labs, and academia, seeks to save energy and create U.S. manufacturing jobs by accelerating the development and large-scale adoption of wide bandgap semiconductor technology.
What is a wide bandgap semiconductor?
Wide bandgap semiconductors operate at much higher voltages, frequencies and temperatures than conventional semiconductors. They are also smaller and more energy efficient than the power electronics widely available today. These new semiconductors take advantage of the inherent properties of silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) materials to provide performance superior to conventional silicon semiconductors.
Uses for wide bandgap semiconductors include:
- Compact power adapters for consumer electronics that are half the size of current technology
- More efficient electric vehicle charging systems that reduce energy losses by 50%
- More efficient industrial motors that can reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs
- Greater efficiency of energy conversion and distribution for both conventional and renewable energy systems
- More efficient power supply for data centers,reducing the space,cost and energy consumption of power equipment
How PowerAmerica is working to accelerate the adoption of this technology:
- Reducing the cost of wide bandgap semiconductors to make them comparable to the silicon semiconductors widely available today.
- Improving reliability by funding projects that demonstrate performance and encourage adoption by manufacturers and end users.
- Enhancing performance capabilities – working to address technical issues at all levels of design, manufacturing, packaging and qualification.
- Bringing together all facets of the supply chain and forming a network of collaboration between manufacturers and end users.
- Accelerating the development of an advanced manufacturing workforce through a variety of educational initiatives focused on working professionals, community college, undergraduate and graduate levels.