£30m for UK power technology development network

March 26, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
The UK government is funding a £30m network of four development centres for Power Electronics, Motors and Drives (PEMD).
The UK government is funding a £30m network of four development centres for Power Electronics, Motors and Drives (PEMD).

The network will house state-of-the-art equipment to enable faster design, development, testing and manufacturing of electrification technologies across seven sectors, including automotive, hybrid aircraft, rail and energy.

The ‘Driving the Electric Revolution (DER)’ Industrialisation Centres will based in Newport (Wales), Nottingham, Glasgow and Sunderland.

The DER Industrialisation Centre South Wales and South West (SW2), based in Newport, will be co-ordinated by the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult (CSA Catapult) and will lead the Materials and Components aspects of the DER Industrialisation Centres. This will look at wideband semiconductor technologies and designs using silicon carbide SiC devices.

The network centres will work with 35 industrial and academic partners including the Universities of Bath, Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham and Exeter, CSA Catapult, the Compound Semiconductor Centre and a range of industrial organisations and partnerships.

Materials such as SiC can cope with more power than silicon semiconductor technology and produce less heat. This needs less in the way of cooling and so helps to reduce size, weight and expense. This benefits the design of electric vehicles to extend the maximum range by reducing the weight of the platform.

“CSA Catapult is delighted to be part of this exciting program supporting the drive towards Net Zero carbon emissions.  DER Centre SW2 will focus on the Materials and Component aspects of the national DER Industrialisation Centre capability and harness it to help grow the UK supply chain in the relevant technologies,” said Stephen Doran, CEO of CSA Catapult.

“The announcement of the DER Industrialisation Centres’ programme is exciting news for PEMD in the UK. The centres will bring together UK wide PEMD capability with Industry requirements to accelerate supply chain development,” said Garry Wilson, Industrialisation Centre – SW2.

“The Materials and Components and SW2 aspects of the national DER Industrialisation Centres’ programme include world-class capabilities in compound semiconductors and magnetic materials. SW2 as a region is a global leader in a range of the critical PEMD technologies

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