“We are seeing more direct current power from solar panels, electric vehicles and backup energy storage being introduced into the home,” said Greg Smith, president of Flex Power Control, based in Los Angeles. “It all needs to be converted and routed seamlessly for optimal home energy use.”
The co-developed home router uses power conversion hardware based on ORNL’s ENABLE (Environmentally Neutral Automated Building Electric Energy) platform. The hardware will use advanced wide-bandgap semiconductors that can operate at much higher voltages, as well as 3D printed heat sinks that dissipate heat generated by the device, resulting in a smaller, more efficient router. Flex power is developing a software platfrom called SPIN to combine power from different sources.
The $625,000 project started in June last year as part of a $16m Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) of 54 projects at 12 national labs involving 52 private-sector partners.