SRC Energy Research Initiative Adds Three New Members


Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) added three members to the global Energy Research Initiative (ERI) that focuses on new technologies for renewable energy and its efficient and reliable distribution on the power grid. The addition of Hydro One Networks, NEC and ON Semiconductor brings the recently created ERI to 10 members and expands the team's focus to include finding new materials, devices and methodologies for power controls/management and energy collection, conversion and storage.

ERI's goal is to address the world's need for smart alternative energy sources and prepare students with the technical skills required for the growing industry. ERI's approach is to create and leverage university research centers to address the specific energy research needs of its industry members.

Joining with ERI charter members ABB, Applied Materials, Bosch, First Solar, IBM, Nexans and Tokyo Electron, the three new member companies also will collaborate with selected universities to conduct the industry-specified research.

Started in 2010, the ERI focused initially on two critical areas for efficient distribution of renewable energy resources ??? photovoltaics (PV) and systems and technologies to enable and optimize smart grids. Two centers for ERI research were established at Purdue and Carnegie Mellon universities, focused on applications in PV and the smart grid.

The new, third center designated to drive advances in power electronics and energy storage will leverage existing centers of excellence in these critical areas and also include researchers from other universities worldwide. Key overarching technical challenges addressed by the center will be:

  • Development of solid state devices with high-voltage/current handling capabilities;

  • Bi-directional power electronics for interfacing, control and stabilization of intermittent renewable energy, including PV at the home/office and smart grid; and

  • Improved performance and lower cost methods for controlling parallel groups of energy storage cells (potential application of wireless sensors), optimized charge
    elease functions with the grid and dynamic Volt-Var support including optimization of battery charging efficiency and battery life.

ERI is managed by the SRC subsidiary, Energy Research Corp, which was formed in 2009. ???P.S.

Solid State Technology, Volume 55, Issue 2, March 2012

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