U Engineers Start Study on Better High-Voltage Electronics


Electricity is energy. When it is turned into heat, however, it is lost.

We do not see or realize it, but inside of power systems, electronic plates convert electricity into energy, heat and other forms of power. So much energy is lost in the form of heat that not a lot of power is generated from renewable energy sources in the U.S. Have you ever thought about converting and creating more efficient power systems to lessen the loss of energy? Assistant professors at the University of Utah from the department of electrical and computer engineering, Sriram Krishnamoorthy and Berardi Sensale-Rodriguez, and Washington State University materials science and engineering professor, Kelvin Lynn, have begun to consider answers to this question. They received a $1.88 million grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to study more efficient power systems. They will use that money to study semiconductor material, and this product can be used in high-voltage power systems.

This research can improve surveillance drones, which would increase operating time and improve airplane, bus and car performance.

Vincent Horiuchi, the public relations associate from the College of Engineering, said, “To study a particular material called gallium oxide and this material is a semiconductor is the same projector as silicone as used in computer processors. The professors believe that allium oxide can be better semiconductors for specifically more efficient semiconductor for converting electric power to energy, for example, ab, bc and dc. They feel that if they can use this material as power conductors for high voltage systems for like electric trains etc. If they can use this they will then be able to convert it things can run longer. One of the visions researchers have is that all electric airplane be run and would be better. This can really result as a good thing in the future. So much heat is lost when using devices and that is why these guys are trying to use efficient power. This can prove to be a really efficient material.”

“It is a new material that we are inventing for potential in power electronics and limit and see the application to see the electric consumption and to check power conversion. The goal and mission is to see if there are no errors with this application. This enhanced critical field will allow us to use a ‘thin’ material to sustain a given voltage,” Krishnamoorthy said. “The thinner the material, the lower the resistance and the resultant power loss.”

The professors are really excited about this project. This grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research has helped them to conduct this research. They feel that this study will help determine the best material quality for the future and will help a lot. They hope this new form of power can be better and not waste energy.



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