An inverter is needed in an electric drive system to convert the DC energy from a battery to AC power to drive the motor. An inverter also acts as a motor controller and as a filter to isolate the battery from potential damage from stray currents.
VTO's research and development in power electronics focuses on improving inverters. Researchers are working to reduce inverter volume by a third, reduce part count by integrating functionality, and reduce cost.
Today's vehicle power electronics utilize silicon-based semiconductors. However, wide band gap (WBG) semiconductors are more efficient and can withstand higher temperatures than silicon components. The ability to operate at higher temperatures can decrease system costs by reducing the requirements for complex thermal management systems.
Other research on inverters focuses on new designs that can reduce part counts and enable modular, scalable components.