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Power Electronics

Robust and efficient power electronics with high power densities are an essential enabling technology for low carbon vehicles. Our research has focused on fundamental thermal and mechanical issues related to power electronics in harsh automotive environments; looking at issues surrounding the design and manufacture of main drive and peripheral converters, as well as existing and new semiconductor materials including silicon carbide and gallium nitride.


Achievements include:
  • The comprehensive development of a hybrid electric vehicle systems architecture
  • A comprehensive study of communication protocols and diagnostic routines in hierarchical structures
  • An investigation into drive cycles and vibration profiles
  • An innovative computer simulation tool for analysing the electro-thermal behaviour of Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs) and diodes
  • A conceptual design for a new power electronics vehicle system
  • A new conceptual design for an inverter
  • A new conceptual design for a DC to DC convertor considering alternative topologies, their advantages and disadvantages, efficiencies and requirement specifications
  • A new conceptual design for a battery charging system considering electrical and geographic requirements, power ranges, intelligent charging and security
  • A new clean room facility for device manufacture


Business Impact – New Products and Processes
A new inverter has been developed to work in conjunction with the electric machine validation unit developed by the project. Zytek Automotive is planning to adopt the technology and manufacturing techniques in a new range of inverters that will meet demanding customer requirements. As a world-class supplier of electric drive systems it is critical for Zytek Automotive to demonstrate a full capability to their customers across the world.


Ricardo has successfully designed and tested a more efficient version of one of their current range of DC-DC converters. Ricardo will utilise the knowledge gained from the development of this new product within their consultancy services.

Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) has continued to develop the hybrid electric vehicle systems architecture further (including its development process) and has begun immediate application on new low carbon vehicle developments.

Clean Room
Lead Partner


Supporting Expertise

Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC)
Zytek Automotive