Project Description of TRANSFORM for broader Public
Grant Agreement number: 101007237 — TRANSFORM — H2020-ECSEL-2020-1-IA
Power Electronics is an important technology domain that has permeated into many aspects of modern life. It has become an essential technology for e-mobility, communication, renewable energy, medical, aerospace and industrial production. Hybrid/electrical cars but also devices such as mobile phones and home appliances use power electronics systems for the conversion of electrical power from one form to another and control its energy level. Hence developments in this domain directly affect society and the quality of life. It plays a key role in the efficient use of electrical energy and controlling its environmental impact since electrical power is lost as heat during its conversion and conditioning. The prediction that electrical energy consumption will overtake oil by 2040 (International Energy Agency [http://www.iea.org]), emphasizes the importance of this technology field.
Power Electronics uses semiconductor materials which have a direct influence on the efficiency of the system. Traditionally Silicon (Si) is used for this purpose, the semiconductor material in every conventional electronic device. Despite substantial progress with electronic components based on this material, further breakthroughs to provide a technological response for future demands is difficult to achieve.
At this point new materials with better properties come into play, the so-called “wide bandgap” materials. Silicon Carbide (SiC) is one of them with properties that allow, among others, operation at higher temperatures and higher electrical potential leading to smaller components and higher power conversion efficiency. These parameters directly influence the performance of the application and its environmental impact. Depending on the application, 6-30% gain is expected by using SiC instead of Si.
It is the aim of TRANSFORM to build a complete and competitive European supply chain for power Electronics based on Silicon Carbide (SiC) power semiconductors. It encompasses research and development activities along the complete supply chain, from SiC substrates to energy converters/inverters , to provide European market players with a reliable source of SiC components and systems based on an entirely European value chain.
Aimed technical excellence will strengthen the global competitive position of Europe. Innovations in substrate manufacturing will establish a new global standard: smart-cut technology allows high scalability, superior performance and reliability. Devices produced with these substrates will be implemented into power modules for different applications. Substrate and equipment manufacturers plus technology providers cooperate to increase maturity of the new processes from lab demonstration to pilot lines.
Semiconductor device manufacturers develop and tailor processes and device design based on the new substrate process. These devices will be implemented into efficient, high power density components with innovative assembly and interconnection technologies. Methodological developments will allow faster time-to-market by optimized requirement engineering and digitalization in component qualification. Project demonstrators will show energy savings in applications in the renewable energy, industry, farming and automotive domains.
TRANSFORM contributes to European societal goals and the green economy through significantly increasing energy efficiency by providing a competitive, ready-to-industrialize technology, strengthening Europe’s technological sovereignty in this critical field.