The finalists in this year’s prestigious Elektra Awards have been announced today and QPT Limited is a finalist in both the Start-up of the Year and the Power System Product of the Year categories. Details at https://www.elektraawards.co.uk/elektraawards2023/en/page/2023-finalists
Rob Gwynne, Founder and CEO of QPT, said, “We are delighted to be shortlisted by the judges of these international awards that recognise innovation in the electronics industry. We have achieved many milestones and filed numerous patents since we were shortlisted in the same two categories last year so we are hopeful of a win this year. Our unique qGaN™ technology provides a far superior performance and efficiency than Silicon Carbide for high-voltage, hard switching applications, critical for driving the world’s electric motors, so we believe that our technology will totally revolutionise the world of power electronics and make SiC redundant in most applications. The environmental impact of ensuring that GaN becomes the standard for high-power electronics is of an equivalent order of magnitude to removing all of the planes from the sky.”
GaN transistors are seen as the future of power electronics due to their ability to operate at higher frequencies for switching on and off. A slow switching transition wastes energy because, during the switching time, when the transistor is neither on nor off, it dissipates huge amounts of power, resulting in energy losses and overheating issues. The higher the switching speed, the less time is spent in transition, and the less energy is lost making for a more efficient solution. GaN transistors can quickly transition from on to off at 1-2ns instead of 20-50ns for Si and SiC transistors. This switching speed enables GaN to run at convertor frequencies of up to 20Mhz (200x faster than SiC). However, achieving maximum performance is challenging in high-voltage, high-power applications as significant RF and thermal issues currently limit GaN to under 100 kHz, which provides no significant benefit over SiC. The thermal properties of SiC can make it an easier solution at 100Khz, but its physical properties mean that it can never operate efficiently at higher frequencies than this. Hence solving the thermal and RF issues for GaN, to enable it to operate at up to 20Mhz provides significant benefits in terms of efficiency as well as power density, which provides further benefits for more mobile applications such as EV and industrial automation.
Driving GaN to the max™
QPT’s module-based solution enables the GaN transistors to be run at their full potential of up to 20 MHz, with nanosecond switching, to deliver major power saving improvements without RF interference issues or overheating. A key application area is in Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) where QPT’s technology enables motors to be driven at up to 99.7% efficiency at peak load with hardly any decrease in efficiency at lower loads. This is a challenge for conventional designs today, where the efficiency can drop off rapidly at lower loads and thereby waste power. Other benefits of QPT’s technology include a lower BOM cost as, unlike other solutions, no output filter is needed and the solution is smaller.
QPT’s qGaN modules forming a VFD solution
Please see the video at https://www.q-p-t.com/qgan-module-technical-video-overview.