Ideal Power Inc., pioneering the development and commercialization of the highly efficient and broadly patented B-TRAN™ bidirectional semiconductor power switch, has been collaborating with a global Tier 1 automotive supplier. The automotive supplier has now entered into an agreement with Ideal Power to test and evaluate B-TRAN™ devices for its electric vehicle (EV) inverter, bidirectional charging, and circuit protection applications. The Tier 1 supplier is a leader in vehicle electrification, EV systems, and clean mobility, with multi-billion dollar annual revenue.
“We are very excited to announce the first test and evaluation agreement of B-TRAN™ by a Tier 1 automotive supplier for potential adoption in its EV sub-systems. This agreement builds on our custom module development with a Top 10 global automaker,” said Dan Brdar, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ideal Power. “We plan to deliver B-TRAN™ samples for evaluation to the Tier 1 automotive supplier in the second half of 2023. We will work with this automotive supplier to understand their EV applications, gain valuable feedback on their product requirements and to potentially secure a product development or other commercial agreement.”
Brdar continued, “B-TRAN™ has the potential to displace conventional power semiconductor solutions in many applications. We are executing our B-TRAN™ commercialization roadmap in large markets including EV, EV charging, renewable energy and energy storage, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems for data centers, and solid-state circuit breakers.”
B-TRAN™ potentially offers distinct advantages over other technologies in EV applications. After batteries, power semiconductors are the second largest cost component of an EV and typically make up 8-10% of the total electric vehicle production cost. While SiC-based devices improve efficiency over traditional silicon-based semiconductors, their very high cost compared to silicon-based devices adds to the cost challenges of EVs. B-TRAN™ offers a lower cost alternative to SiC devices to improve efficiency and vehicle range. In addition to these benefits, B-TRAN™ offers a clear roadmap to incorporate the benefits of silicon carbide as its cost and manufacturability profile improves over time.
Ideal Power’s patented semiconductor power switch, the Bidirectional Bipolar Junction Transistor, or B-TRAN™, reduces power losses by 50% or more over conventional power switches, depending on the application. B-TRAN™’s higher efficiency results in less heat being generated and therefore significantly lower thermal management requirements, requiring significantly smaller surface area to dissipate heat and giving rise to potentially smaller original equipment manufacturer products. B-TRAN™ offers the industry’s only symmetric bidirectional operation, reducing the number of components required for an application by 75% compared to a conventional bidirectional switch utilizing IGBTs and diodes. This highly efficient and unique symmetric operation provides a strong competitive advantage in bidirectional applications, which are growing rapidly as transportation electrifies and power generation shifts to renewable energy coupled with energy storage.