News from AAU Energy

New Centre for Digitisation of Electronics

AAU researchers are streamlining the production of power electronics with digital design processes. A group of researchers from Aalborg University are taking an important step towards a more efficient green transition in the energy sector. Using digital prototypes, researchers are developing faster and cheaper processors for the design and product qualification of high-efficiency and more compact power electronics systems.

The green transition in the energy sectors is an important element in the fight against climate change. However, the ability to develop new and energy-efficient solutions is often founded on prototype-based design processes that are costly and take a long time to test. The Centre for Digitisation of Electronics (CoDE) at Aalborg University meets this challenge, and has set out to develop new methods that push the boundaries of digital processors in relation to designing and qualifying the high-efficiency and compact power electronics systems of the future.

“We want to transform the design process so that time-consuming and expensive prototype iterations in the laboratory are replaced by digital design iterations. Our vision is that only a single physical prototype should need to be manufactured to achieve the desired function and effect,” says Professor Stig Munk-Nielsen from the Department of Energy Technology at Aalborg University.

The increased use of electric vehicles, wind power, hydrogen electrolysis and energy-efficient pumping solutions place growing demands on their built-in power electronics systems, which connect the functional blocks and transport electricity from the power plant to the consumer.

The development work is therefore crucial to the progress of the green transition, and the industry needs new solutions. The new methods seem to accelerate the process, as it is no longer necessary to develop a series of expensive prototypes to test in laboratories. The new methods can therefore optimise the extremely resource-intensive prototype-based design process, while a typical design process with many iterations will usually take weeks.

“After digitising elements of the design processes, our experience and results are very promising. The long-term goal is therefore to help increase the use of digital design tools in the development processes within the electrical, magnetic and mechanical fields,” says Professor Stig Munk-Nielsen from Aalborg University.

The Centre for Digitisation of Electronics has worked with Grundfos’ development department to find new and more efficient methods for designing new products using prototype testing. With DKK 19.6 million in financial support from the Poul Due Jensen Foundation and DKK 3.7 million from Aalborg University, the researchers can now ensure that the centre will make the new methods and the processor more widely available to industry.

About the research group

The key people in the research group are: Associate Professor Christian Uhrenfeldt, Postdoc Asger Bjørn Jørgensen and Professor Stig Munk-Nielsen from AAU. In addition, a total of five PhD students and two postdocs will be involved in the project over the next five years.

Contacts

Stig Munk-Nielsen, Professor, Department of Energy Technology, Aalborg University

Tel.: +45 22915029 Email: smn@et.aau.dk