Coventry Power Electronics team at the launch event of our C-ALPS and FEV UK building

Coventry and FEV have joined forces with the launch of the new FEV UK Headquarters building at the Coventry University Technology Park. The new building and research facility hosts the Coventry University Centre for Advanced Low-Carbon Propulsion Systems (C-ALPS) which aims to become a new centre of excellence where the academic knowledge hand in hand with industry create the propulsion systems of the future.

The facility opened on Thursday 21st March and during the launch event our team prepared a demonstration and presentation of the research undertaken. Photos of the team’s presentation during the event are shown below.

The power electronics team of Power and Energy lab led by Dr. Neo Lophitis has become key member of the new C-ALPS research group.

Middle: Dr. Neophytos (Neo) Lophitis – Assistant Professor
Left: Mr. Samuel Perkins – PhD student of 4H-SiC devices
Right: Mr. Anastasios (Tasos) Arvanitopoulos – PhD student of 3C-SiC devices

The full power electronics C-ALPS team (left to right): Mr. Panayiotis (Panos) Panayiotou; Dr. Soroush Faramehr; Prof. Petar Igic; Dr. Neophytos (Neo) Lophitis; Mr. Samuel Perkins; Mr. Anastasios (Tasos) Arvanitopoulos

Also in the news:
“Coventry and FEV have joined forces to develop a new £50m state-of-the-art facility for creating cleaner mobility, giving a major boost to the UK automotive industry. ”

Power electronics in automotive industry

There are 65 million cars made every year, in 2050 all of them will be electric or hybrid electric.

Legislation is driving the emissions allowed from every car down. That will require the electrification of the vast majority of vehicles produced. The power electronics industry will need to evolve dramatically in order to cope with the future supply needs: 65 million converter units for cars per year. That present us with a massive challenge but also an opportunity!

So who’s leading the market? The Japanese with toyota being the dominant player for hybrid electric cars, currently having 85% of market share. They already solved a lot of the challenges that were presented to them. This includes electrical safety, reliability, supply chain issues, technology and cost.

Is silicon carbide going to be adopted any time soon? Probably not. Electrification of any equipment used in a car, pumps, etc, costs much more than conventional mechanical parts. It seems that silicon technology will stick around until a massive reduction in cost and improvement in reliability happens.

Trains are expected to be the first type of vehicles to get the silicon carbide technology. Electrification is already established in the trail industry, and trains can stand the cost. That is because they are big systems, low numbers, high volume, long live, 25 years at least.

Are there any other applications pushing for more power electronics?

Ships will also be required to have a huge electric drive system. Legislation will require them to get in the port with the engines off.