Press Release


Greater yields from renewable energy sources

German Ministry of Education and Research backs joint research project between Semikron, PCS Power Converter Solutions and the Technical University of Dresden on the optimization of energy efficiency in Wind and Solar Power Modules.

Nuremberg, 14 July 2010 – Leading power semiconductor manufacturer Semikron, PCS Power Converter Solutions and the Technical University of Dresden are the choice partners in the research project “More efficient use of regenerative energies with multi level topologies – EEMT”, a project which will receive around € 1.2 m in backing from the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The project is to run over a period of three years, ending in March 2013. The aim of the project is to develop innovative inverter technology to boost efficiency in the utilisation of power gained from renewable sources.


Rising energy prices are not only a huge strain on the purse strings of private users, but are also becoming an increasingly important competitive factor on the German market at large. At the same time, climate targets are pushing consumers towards a more responsible use of resources. Today, for example, 40 % of the total energy consumed worldwide is electric power, a figure that is expected to increase to 60% by 2040.


As part of the EEMT project, an innovative inverter is to be developed to convert the direct current generated by wind turbines or solar cells into alternating current that can then be fed into the grid. Conventional inverters need filter circuits to meet the minimum quality requirements for the power to be fed into the grid. The problem is, however, that these filter circuits are not particularly efficient, meaning some of the energy generated is lost. The multilevel topology circuit developed within the EEMT project is intended for use with such power inverters, with the aim of reducing filtering requirements substantially. The new circuit topology will also help reduce losses in the power lines to a minimum, boosting overall energy efficiency of the power generation unit. In terms of technology, such modules are more complex than the conventional inverter modules used today; in financial terms, however, the use of the new inverter modules offers very interesting prospects as a result of the increase in efficiency that they bring about.


During the research project, new intelligent integrated inverter modules are to be developed by Semikron for use in an innovative power converter developed by Power Converter Solutions. The driver circuitry and protective components are to be developed by the Electrical Engineering Institute’s Chair for Power Electronics at the Technical University of Dresden.


The project is backed by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the “Power Electronics for Improved Energy Efficiency” initiative, which is part of the German government’s high-tech strategy and the “IT and communication technology 2020” initiative (ICT 2020). The ICT initiative focuses, amongst other things, on the expansion of the range of applications for electronics, with the purpose of achieving greater energy efficiency and reduced pollutant emissions with innovative power electronic systems.

Semikron is an internationally leading power semiconductor manufacturer. Founded in 1951, the German-based family enterprise employs 3200 people worldwide. Semikron comprises a global network of 35 companies with production plants in China, Korea, India, South Africa, Brazil, USA, Italy, France, Slovakia and Germany that guarantees fast and competent on-site customer care.

About PCS Power Converter Solutions
PCS Power Converter Solutions GmbH – in short PCS – is a medium-sized enterprise boasting years of experience in the rail vehicle industry. For decades, PCS has been developing, manufacturing and supplying cutting-edge power converters and electrical equipment for use in all kinds of rail vehicles. Exploiting synergy and its wealth of expertise, PCS has continually expanded its reach to power converters for highly dynamic test benches and wind turbines.

About the Electrical Engineering Institute of the TU Dresden
The Electrical Engineering Institute (ETI) of the Technical University of Dresden is a teaching and research institute specialising in power electronics, drive engineering, and electrical engineering theory and boasts a more than 100-year-old tradition in these fields. The ETI is part of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, which is one of top research faculties in the area of electrical engineering in Germany.


Technical Information:
Peter Beckedahl
Tel: +49-(0) 911-6559-155


Press Contact:
Annette Müller
Manager International Communications
Sigmundstr. 200
90431 Nürnberg
Tel: +49-(0) 911-6559-158


PCS Power Converter Solutions GmbH
Am Rathenaupark
16761 Hennigsdorf


TU Dresden
Kim-Astrid Magister
Helmholtzstraße 10
01069 Dresden
Tel.: +49 351 463-32398

Greater yields from renewable energy sources

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