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Super-HEART: a fault-tolerant energy hub

High availability | Maintenance friendliness |High efficiency

Electrification of society is reaching mission critical applications. However, Power electronics (PE) devices are prone to failure, and high availability is usually ensured using redundancy - which is expensive and bulky. In the meantime, PE allows hybrid (AC & DC) electric distribution, which is key to integration of solar power and use of hydrogen as energy carrier. Multi-source integration, including renewable generators and energy storage, is furthermore required to ensure continuity of operation, whilst compensating the limited dynamics of power sources like fuel cells and filtering out disturbances carried by the network.

With Super-HEART, we target the development of a high availability power converter for multi-source integration, for applications that are critical and have high downtime-costs. Ove the years, the project partners have gained extensive experience in the development of multiport isolated DCDC power converters (>20 kW), with an emphasis on high availability and fault-tolerance. For high efficiency and power density, we use SiC, GaN, planar transformers, and custom high performance super-capacitors.

The project is based on the results of the HEART and U-HEART European excellence grants conducted by the Chair of Power Electrics of Kiel University, combined with developments towards high power and high density super-capacitors, from the Functional Nanomaterial Chair (Prof. Adelung) of Kiel University and Trinity College Dublin (Prof. Nicolosi). The project is supported by Fraunhofer ISIT.

Technologies involved

  • Based on multi-winding transformer for maximum efficiency
  • High reliability mechanical switches for fault-tolerance
  • Magnetic bus enabling powers conversion stages reduction: more efficient, more reliable
  • Custom super-capacitors: higher density, greener
  • High frequency transformers, SiC and GaN transistors

Key features

  • High availability through fault tolerance
  • >High efficiency (-20% loss vs. state of art)
  • Multi-source integration
  • High power density (+20 % vs. state of the art)
  • High power (100 kW), scalable
  • Safety: isolated ports

Target applications

  • Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for datacenters
  • Net zero energy (NZE) for multi-house segments
  • DC industry applications