Power Electronics

Inductor Technology Improves Cost and Efficiency

West Coast Magnetics has licensed an inductor technology that achieves a major improvement in cost and efficiency over existing inductors. The technology combines the low dc resistance of a foil-wound inductor with the low ac resistance of a litz-wire-wound inductor. For high-current, high-ripple applications at frequencies of 10 kHz and up, loss reductions in the range of 25% to 50% compared to conventional wire wound devices are typical. The technology fits very well with the newer classes of silicon devices such as IGBTs designed to operate at current levels above 100 A at frequencies over 10 kHz.

The technology was patented by the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and is under exclusive license by West Coast Magnetics. West Coast Magnetics has worked closely with Dartmouth to develop the technology so that it is ready for commercial use.

Weyman Lundquist, President of West Coast Magnetics, summarized the benefits of the technology: "Very simply, this new technology, will lead to the use of smaller and lower-cost inductors for a host of very important developing power electronic applications in the energy field. Wind energy, hybrid vehicles, solar energy and many other environmentally friendly energy technologies rely on continued improvements in power electronics, and power inductors are one of the main building blocks of virtually all power electronic equipment."

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