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Industry consortium announces power stack with integrated FPGA-based control system

The SmartPower Stack Consortium, comprised of Methode Electronics Inc., SBE Inc., Fuji Electric Corp. of America, and AgileSwitch LLC recently selected National Instruments' (NI) Single-Board RIO General Purpose Inverter Controller (GPIC) as the integrated control system for a new 100-kilowatt intelligent power stack module. The NI GPIC features advanced Xilinx field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology with 58 integrated DSP cores to deliver 40 times higher performance per dollar than traditional DSP-based control systems.

The SmartPower Stack with NI GPIC also includes a comprehensive NI LabVIEW system design software that eliminates any need for knowledge of VHDL or Verilog programming languages and enables development of advanced LabVIEW FPGA control algorithms in a high-fidelity desktop co-simulation environment. The SmartPower Stack consists of SBE high-performance wound film capacitors; Fuji Electric insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs); AgileSwitch IGBT gate drives; Methode Electronics bus bar power distribution, thermal management, and ISO 9001 manufacturing assembly and test capabilities; and the NI GPIC control system powered by LabVIEW software.

Through technical and business collaboration, the consortium is creating a fully-integrated SmartPower Stack 100-kilowatt three-phase inverter sub-system to significantly reduce the cost and risk of deploying next-generation, smart grid-ready, digital energy conversion systems.

For more information, contact National Instruments Corp., 11500 N. Mopac Expressway, Austin, TX 78759. Phone: (800) 531-5066.

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