General Overview

The HiPE consortium brings together 13 participants from industrial and research backgrounds, covering the whole relevant value chain, to develop a new family of highly energy efficient, cost-effective, modular, compact and integrated wide bandgap (WBG) power electronics solutions (PEs) for the next generation of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and to facilitate a significant market penetration of WBG in the automotive sector.

The project outputs will include:

  • a scalable and modular family of WBG-based traction inverters with significantly improved specific cooling performance, suitable for 400V, 800V and 1200V applications, with power ratings from 50 to 250 kW, integrated into electric drives including the high-to-low voltage (HV/LV) DC/DC converters, thus enabling drastic size and weight reductions;
  • a family of integrated WBG-based bidirectional on-board chargers (OBCs) and HV/LV DC/DC converters, with optimized innovative topologies, including use of Gallium Nitride (GaN)
  • integrated, fault-tolerant and cost-effective GaN-based power electronics for high-voltage ancillaries and chassis actuators.

The development of these outputs will imply significant research and innovation in terms of circuit topologies, electro-magnetic interference filters, integrated double-side pin-fin and immersion/impingement/two-phase cooling, stray inductance reduction, DC-link capacitors, materials, manufacturing techniques, as well as intelligent model-based and data-driven control, achieved through simulation and optimization methodologies. The result will be an unprecedented level of functional integration, e.g., the HiPE smart power electronics solutions will include intelligent and predictive controllers to optimize performance, innovative and computationally efficient data-driven approaches to monitor the state-of-health of the relevant hardware, as well as novel self-adaptive digital-twin-based methodologies to tailor the component- and vehicle-level algorithms to the specific condition of the hardware installed on each individual BEV, and actively improve reliability and availability of the electronic parts during field use.

The experiments on demonstrators and several test rigs will highlight increased values of power density, specific power and energy efficiency with respect to the state-of-the-art (SotA) of silicon (Si-)based and WBG-based power electronics, meeting and significantly exceeding the expectations of the Horizon Europe Call CL5-2021-D5-01-02 topic. Such advancements will be achieved while preserving the expected automotive quality level without having to recur to overengineering, thanks to the innovative implementation of data-driven dependability techniques for smart systems. The extensive simulation analyses running in parallel with the design and experimental activities will further demonstrate the scalability, modularity and wider potential impact of the HiPE power electronics solutions.