Hillcrest says its high-frequency inverter boosts efficiency

Inverter and control system company Hillcrest Energy Technologies has announced the results of efficiency testing on its proof-of-concept 10 kW inverter. In testing with an 80 kW motor, the company says testing at 20 kHz, 40 kHz and 60 kHz revealed an improvement of efficiency at each increased frequency level.

“Combined with our existing test results confirming inverter efficiency exceeding 99% at switching frequencies up to 60 kHz, we are one step closer to demonstrating the ability of our technology to anchor the next generation of highly efficient, high-performance powertrain systems,” said Hillcrest CTO Ari Berger.

The company says: “Leveraging the Hillcrest traction inverter to improve motor efficiency in an electric vehicle powertrain has the potential to reduce motor size and cooling requirements and increase power density.”

Hillcrest plans to begin testing a 250 kW, 800 V commercial prototype of the inverter in the coming months, and to deliver a working prototype by the fall of 2022.

“Currently, electric motors used in electric vehicle powertrains operate within a switching frequency range of 8 kHz to 16 kHz due to the historic tradeoff between the best possible switching behavior and acceptable thermal losses,” said Harald Hengstenberger, Managing Director and founder of power electronics design company Systematec, which collaborates with Hillcrest. “The ability of the Hillcrest high-efficiency inverter to operate at much higher switching frequencies without generating additional losses will now allow motor manufacturers to take advantage of new motor concepts not previously available to them.”

Source: Hillcrest