What is the Future of Power Electronics?

Interview of Thierry Meynard

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What is the future of power electronics?

When people think about the future of power electronics, I think that everybody is convinced that in the future of power electronics we use Wide-Band Gap devices. They are definitely a disruptive innovation that will allow us to build converters with better performances.

But it’s not the only solution. We can also take advantage of some topologies to use silicone devices in series connection or parallel connection and improve the level of performance. Because in these multicell topologies, we can interleave the control signal of the different cells and create apparent switching frequencies with higher values that allow to reduce the size of the filters and magnetic components that are the main contributors to the weight of the system.

I think we have to think of combining these two innovations: better devices and better topologies.

Our Expert

Thierry Meynard - Co-founder & Scientific Advisor Power Design Technologies

Thierry Meynard – Co-founder & Scientific Advisor / Power Design Technologies

Thierry Meynard graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Electrotechnique, d’Electronique, d’Hydraulique de Toulouse in 1985, became a Doctor of the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, France, in 1988 and was then an invited researcher at the Université du Québec à Trois Rivières, Canada, in 1989. He joined the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) as a full-time researcher in 1990, was Head of the Static Converter Group from 1994 to 2001, and has been a part-time consultant with Cirtem from 2000 to 2016. He is now Directeur de Recherches CNRS at the LAPLACE(*) laboratory, associate director of the national program 3DPHI (3-Dimensional Power Hybrid Integration) and co-founder and part time consultant of the start-up Power Design Technologies.

His main research interests are related to series and parallel multicell converters, magnetic components and the development of design tools for power electronics.

He is the co-inventor of several topologies of multilevel converter used by ABB, Alstom, Cirtem, General Electric, Schneider Electric : ‘Flying capacitor’, ‘Stacked MultiCell’, ‘5LANPC’, ‘AC/AC chopper’,….

(*) Laboratoire Plasma et Conversion d’Energie, UMR CNRS n° 5213, B.P. 7122, 2, rue Camichel, 31071 Toulouse Cedex 7 FRANCE


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