Semiconductors for energy balanced households

Everyone knows the sound of a constantly running refrigerator. This noise is not only disturbing the everyday life, but also a sign of poor energy efficiency. The reason behind is quite simple: most of the  home appliances use motors to operate their functions – to turn the tumbler in a washing machine, to compress the air or a gas in a refrigerator, or to cool the groceries. In the past, these motors were simply turned on or off, or left running all day, leading to an immense amount of energy use and loss – and noise. To regulate the motor through inverterization is an effective and efficient solution towards the conscious use of energy.

Read the latest market news: Samsung chose Infineon for its first MOSFET-based refrigerator inverter design: 600 V CoolMOSTM PFD7 in Samsung’s newly launched refrigerator

Meeting today's needs through inverterization

Today’s lifestyles in most regions of the world create an immense need for energy. Home appliances such as air conditioning and refrigerators lead to more CO2 emissions than necessary. Within recent years manufacturers have demonstrated that energy losses can be dramatically reduced by regulating the power that is fed into the motor. Also, it is not necessary to run motors at full speed all the time. Modern consumer appliances are equipped with a motor control (“inverterized”) by semiconductors. These make motors nicely silent, energy efficient and in the end smaller in size.

Overview: Consumer appliances at a glance

Application page: Home appliances

Deeper insight: Systems solutions for home appliances - whitepaper and webinar

Interactive graphic: View the smart and connected 360° kitchen

How inverterization works

Inverterization makes it possible for devices to consume only as much electricity as they actually need – because they know precisely when and how much is required to run. Chips from Infineon allow the interaction of sensors, microcontrollers and power chips. The combination of these different semiconductors enables an optimum regulation of the current flow, which is called a frequency inverter or simply inverter.

The principle is simple: by constantly gathering data, such as temperature, humidity and motor rotational speed, sensors help an appliance run efficiently. Based on this data, a mini-computer or microcontroller calculates the control commands required. Power chips implement these for the motor’s optimum rotational speed, keeping the fridge’s temperature constant. This is much more efficient than turning the motor on and off all day.

Infineon solutions for efficient consumer applications

Infineon power semiconductors reduce energy losses in motor controls for pumps in washing machines, dishwashers, heating and cooling systems. They enable power conversion in inductive heating systems like rice cookers or in generating high-voltage for microwaves. In 2018, 1/3 of the global home appliances were inverterized by Infineon semiconductor products. This corresponds to an energy saving of 10,752.83 GWh and equals more than 6.2 million tons of CO2 emissions. If all fridges in the world were inverterized by Infineon semiconductors, this would save as much energy as Sweden consumes in a year.

For these kinds of home appliances in particular, Infineon offers a comprehensive portfolio to meet highest efficiency levels. CIPOS™ Intelligent Power Modules are the optimal solution for highly integrated compressor drives whilst discrete solutions are the best choice, whenever the layout flexibility and thermal performance optimization are the major factors. They can all be combined with iMOTION™ products for dedicated motor control. For the auxiliary power supply, the CoolSET™ rounds up our power portfolio by offering increased robustness and performance. Discrete IGBTs designed for induction heating applications, in combination with PSoC™ microcontrollers for system control, AIROC™ Wi-Fi & Combos products, and XENSIV™ sensors enable highly compact, robust, and reliable systems that consume less power and offer a rich user interface.

Explore our portfolio for consumer appliances applications

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