Unlocking Lasting Transformative Resiliency Advances by Faster Actuation of Power Semiconductor Technologies SBIR/STTR (ULTRAFAST SBIR/STTR)
Full Application Submission Deadline: TBD
- Educational Institution
- Private Sector
- Economic Development
- Energy Infrastructure
Reserved for Energy
Technological advances in power electronics have enabled the unprecedented growth of renewable energy sources in the electrical power grid. Power electronics innovations have brought improvements in controllability, performance, and energy availability at a specific electronic interface, but are also fundamentally changing the nature of the grid as a system. Because of the growing proportion of fast dynamic electronic interfaces relative to slow dynamic (i.e., conventional, asynchronous, machine-controlled) interfaces, grid performance, stability, and reliability are becoming increasingly jeopardized.
The goal of ULTRAFAST is to advance the performance limits of silicon (Si), wide bandgap (WBG), and ultra-wide bandgap (UWBG) semiconductor devices and significantly improve their actuation methods to support a more capable, resilient, and reliable future grid. ARPA-E expects that projects will create new material, device, and/or power module technologies that enable realization of transformative power management and control. More specifically, ARPA-E is looking for semiconductor material, device and/or power module level advances to enable faster switching and/or triggering at higher current and voltage levels for improved control and protection of the grid.
Specific categories include:
- Device and/or module technologies targeting protection functions at high current and voltage levels by achieving very fast by-pass, shunt, or interrupt capability at as low level of integration as possible with nanosecond-level reaction time (and corresponding slew rates).
- High switching frequency devices and/or modules which enable efficient, high-power, high-speed power electronics converters.
- Complementary technologies such as wireless sensing of voltage and current, high-density packaging with the integrated wireless actuators and device/module-level protection, power cell-level capacitors and inductors, and thermal management strategies to support (1) and (2).