The Pandemic is Accelerating the Development of Next-Gen Power Electronics

  • Celestica  |
  • 2020-10-19
Next-Gen Power Electronics

Global demand among residential and commercial energy customers for access to renewable energy sources has increased since the pandemic struck, and that trend will continue to gain momentum. Advancements in clean power generation, distribution, and storage technologies will help the energy industry meet that demand. 

Brian Casey, Vice President, Industrial and Smart Energy shares his insight on the growing demand for renewable energy and next generation power electronics are helping build a more sustainable future.

Although the global economic downturn has made cost-cutting a top of mind issue for consumers and businesses alike, the Deloitte Resources 2020 Study finds that it has not silenced the call to migrate away from burning fossil fuels.   Per the report;  “Today, affordable and clean energy are far less likely to be mutually exclusive, especially for businesses. The preference for cleaner energy sources will likely continue, and given their increasing affordability; usage may continue to grow even during a recession.”

Prioritizing Clean Energy Innovation
The long-term vision is to replace traditional centralized power grids built around one power plant burning fossil fuels with a decentralized model fueled by multiple clean energy sources. That is fueling manufacturers’ efforts to develop integrated technology platforms that will enable residential and commercial customers to become “prosumers” who also assume the energy providers’ roles. 

For example, homeowners will use next-generation solar power generation, storage, and distribution technologies to save money by becoming less reliant on a traditional power grid and by distributing excess power to their neighbors on an as-needed basis.

Transforming entire power grids is a lofty goal. But there are two factors working in the industry’s favor: the networks that support distributed energy management, and the common building blocks of a distributed grid.  The networks being deployed to support smart metering and load-shedding, supported by broadband and 5G technologies provided the needed elements for a distributed control system.  The building blocks of a modern next-gen, clean-energy grid - the generators, solar and wind inverters, EV chargers, smart meters, storage systems, and related products - are all built upon  power electronic architectures that have many features and attributes in common. This commonality provides OEMs with opportunities to introduce new efficiencies to the design, development, and manufacturing processes, accelerating delivery to market. 

Design, Develop, Deliver
Capitalizing on these opportunities often requires working with a trusted partner like Celestica with deep experience in enabling highly complex renewable smart energy solutions. 

Designing and building it right the first time is critical. Failure to do at even one phase of the product development lifecycle inevitably causes costly delays that place the company at a significant competitive disadvantage. 

That’s why Celestica works closely with our customers and suppliers to identify core vs. non-core activities across hardware design, materials, production, and shipping. We become an extension of our customers’ internal teams so they can focus on their markets and their innovation efforts - redeploying resources as necessary to support agile growth. 

In upcoming posts, we’ll examine all aspects of the residential and commercial energy landscape from generation to storage, delivery, and consumption. Next up: how the advancement of power technologies drives the evolution of the electric vehicle (EV) market.

We’ll look at how auto manufacturers incorporate the latest innovations in power electronics “under the hood” and the public and private sectors’ efforts to build the charging networks that will enable consumers to take cross-country trips and transform the commercial vehicles industry.