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What to Watch for at APEC 2019

The Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC) 2019 will take place in Anaheim, California March 19-21. Thousands of educators and professionals will travel to the Anaheim Convention Center for the event to explore how power electronics are changing in the industry.

The event will cover a range of topics from magnetics, renewable energy, to emerging technologies. A series of workshops will also cover special topics broken out by industry and will include sessions for professionals working in communications, computing, medicine, and other sectors. Several major trends in the power electronics industry will be covered at APEC this year. One of these is modular design.

Modular Design

Without a doubt, modular design has long been an industry trend across varying engineering disciplines. In software, it enables engineers to design a succinct chunk of code that is standalone. It works with other modular blocks of code much like gears work together in mechanical designs. Together, the code makes a cohesive function. Separately, these blocks can move from one application to the next without the need for much recoding.

Modular design is becoming a trend in power electronics, too. As the Internet of Things industry  prepares to be saturated with billions of devices, it can only be expected that most of these devices will be near-identical at the board level. Most devices are built using the same components. Nascent Objects (which was acquired by Facebook) disassembled and studied 600 devices.

The startup discovered the same 15 components made up more than 80 percent of the circuits of every devices, and built a business model around allowing the average end-user to build their own electronics using modular, standardized power electronic circuits.

And that is just one example. Modular design is where the industry is headed. It is fitting that APEC will feature a professional session on the topic. It will be titled, “Modular High-Frequency Voltage Power Supply: Architectures, Unified Modeling Methodologies, and Output Voltage Sharing Technologies.” A number of other sessions detailing modular components and various design modules will also be covered.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy has, of course, been an emerging trend in power electronics. Renewable energy applications have relied on every fascet of power electronics can offer in recent years across all sectors, from agriculture to the grid.

APEC will offer a number of talks on renewable energy, including, “Advanced Solutions for Energy Storage and Heat Dissipation Issues in Power Electronics;” “Electric Powertrain: Energy Systems, Power Electronics, and Drives for Hybrid, Electric, and Fuel Cell Vehicles;” and “Flywheel Energy Storage: A Utility-Scale Energy Solution for the 21st Century.” Additional sessions will also be held on energy harvesting and power systems based on alternative energy.

Anyone interested in the topic can also head to the poster session on renewable energy systems on Thursday, March 21 to have a look at the 26 papers published and available on the topic. An additional 10 papers specific to grid applications will also be available.

Transportation

One topic that is marginally related to renewable energy is transportation. Electric vehicles continue to be a hot topic in the power electronics sector, and APEC will feature nine new papers specific to transportation. These will include topics such as neutral point clamping multilevel inverters, battery charging, switching, and smart resistors for aircraft.

Additionally, several sessions will also be available on topics that influence transportation, such as energy storage, low-power charging, and advancements in power electronics components, simulation, modeling, and design.

Additional Highlights

APEC 2019 will feature professional sessions on other topics also, includes discussions on the best AC-DC, DC-DC, and utility-interactive converters. Sessions on other types of components will also be featured, including emerging inverters, motor drives, magnetic components, and devices. More than 300 exhibitors will fill the Anaheim Convention Center to share exciting research, news, and upcoming technology. Companies such as Tektronix, Helix Semiconductors, Mouser, Siemens, and Texas Instruments will be present.

Students and young professionals are also encouraged to attend the Students & Young Professionals Reception on Tuesday, March 19. The reception is sponsored by the IEEE Power Electronics Society (IPES) and the Industry Applications Society (IAS). Lastly the APEC Micromouse Competition is back by popular demand. The evening of Monday, March 18, watch as makers from all over the world compete to see which robotic mouse makes it through a maze the fastest.

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