Electromobility: The "Luftstrom" Research Project Makes Charging Batteries in Electric Vehicles More Efficient and Much Quieter
Joint press release by the partners in the German research project "Luftstrom"
Munich, Germany – June 24, 2015 – The “Luftstrom” research project investigates how batteries in electric vehicles can be charged more efficiently. Luftstrom (English: Airstream) will help accelerate the conversion to climate-friendly mobility. Twelve partners in the German automotive sector, its supply industry and the sciences are collaborating on this project for the next three years. The use of new power semiconductors is expected to reduce losses during charging and, ultimately, make charging almost noiseless.
Electric vehicles are mainly charged overnight. However, charging in the charging device and voltage regulators creates heat that fans of water-cooled aggregates have to dissipate, for example. This can be quite noisy. As a result of the Luftstrom research, the electronic power components will lower the losses during charging by 30 percent. This means lower waste heat – and with less cooling effort the cooling units become more compact and operate more quietly. Components that already cause very few losses, such as auxiliary power supplies, might even be able to do without the previously required water cooling – which means that the loud fans would be eliminated.
The key to low-loss power electronics lies in state-of-the-art power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) or silicon carbide (SiC). The Luftstrom project will therefore also determine how such power semiconductors can be used reliably in charging devices, voltage regulators and inverters for auxiliary power units. Its research results will accelerate the transition to air-cooled and fan-less systems for future generations of electric vehicles.
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is contributing funding in the amount of about Euro 3.9 million to the Luftstrom research. Infineon Technologies has the project lead.
Project partners from science, the automotive sector and its supply industry
The entire automotive value-added chain for the production and use of these new systems is represented in the Luftstrom project. The twelve project partners include AVL Software and Functions GmbH, BMW AG, Daimler AG, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Component Technology IISB, the University of Applied Sciences Ostwestfalen-Lippe, Infineon Technologies AG, Lenze Drives GmbH, Robert Bosch GmbH, RWTH Aachen University, Siemens AG, Leibniz University Hannover, and Volkswagen AG.
Infineon Technologies AG is a world leader in semiconductors. Infineon offers products and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, mobility, and security. In the 2014 fiscal year (ending September 30), the company reported sales of Euro 4.3 billion with about 29,800 employees worldwide. In January 2015, Infineon acquired US-based International Rectifier Corporation, a leading provider of power management technology, with revenues of USD 1.1 billion (fiscal year 2014 ending June 29) and approximately 4,200 employees.
Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX) and in the USA on the over-the-counter market OTCQX International Premier (ticker symbol: IFNNY).
As a strong partner for electromobility, Infineon heads various R&D projects which help to accelerate the introduction of electric cars.INFINEON eMobility
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