Power electronic systems - also known as converters - have a key role to play as an intelligent interface between the generation of electrical energy on the one hand and its storage and use on the other. They permit low-loss conversion of electrical energy using electronic components and are deployed for controlling electric motors at variable speeds or in photovoltaic systems.  

The research area "Energy Efficiency" at Aschaffenburg University is currently researching into the development of an energy-efficient, intelligent and modular high-performance power electronic converter for use in highly dynamic drives as well as for the generation and storage of electrical energy.  A particular feature of the new high-performance converters is their modular structure, allowing them to be deployed universally. The modular principle is realised as follows: carriers specially developed for the new converters can take up to six phase modules in addition to a universal control unit.

This means that the topology of the converter can be configured to match the specific application as needed. Particular importance is attached to a reliable, robust structure so as to ensure secure operation and a long service life in both mobile and stationary systems. The unavoidable power losses are dissipated by means of effective water cooling so as to achieve maximum performance capacity in conjunction with a compact design. The input for the converter is generated by the control unit by means of a digital signal processor programmed via Matlab/Simulink. It is worth noting that the individual phase modules are controlled independently of one another, so they are capable of performing different functions. The modular structure makes it possible to create individually tailored solutions for industrial partners.

Use in DC-DC converters is also conceivable, as well as for speed control of asynchronous and synchronous motors in electrically-powered vehicles, for instance. Another obvious application is as an inverter in solar and wind power systems or in water and combined heat and power stations. Power converters can also be used to link energy storage devices to the power grid.