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Build an Efficient Inverter, Win a Million Dollars

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  • Build an Efficient Inverter, Win a Million Dollars

    Google and the IEEE are giving away a million dollar prize to an individual or team, that can build the most efficient and compact DC to AC inverter. The goal is to design and build a 2kW inverter with a power density greater than 50W per cubic inch. To put that in perspective, conventional solar string inverters have power densities around 0.5-3W per cubic Inch, and microinverters around 5W per cubic Inch. So in other words, an order of magnitude more efficient than what we have now.

    For the challenge, the inverter needs to convert 450VDC, with a 10 ohm series resistor simulating a solar array, to 240VAC @ 60Hz. Testing will consist of powering various resistive, inductive and capacitive loads ranging from 0-2kVA. The inverter is expected to regulate voltage within 5%, and frequency within 0.05%, while keeping the enclosure below 60 degrees C, and conforming to FCC Part 15 B (Unintentional radiators).

    If you and/or your team can figure out the most efficient topology, switching frequency, novel use of high power wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors, physically reduce the size of the input and output filters, and keep the whole thing running cool. Then get registered before the September 30, 2014 deadline. Inverters need to be functional and the results of this test procedure (PDF warning) sent in before July 22, 2015, then 18 finalists will be chosen to bring their inverters in person to a testing facility in the United States by October 21, 2015. The grand prize winner will be announced sometime in January, 2016


    Build an Efficient Inverter, Win a Million Dollars

  • #2
    So they want a 2KW inverter in a 40 cubic inch package, that is a cube 3.5" on a side and it must run cool good luck with that. I designed a 600W inverter that run at 30Khz with everything they are asking for in a 128 cubic inch package and that was not easy. Most people, and not just on this forum, do not have the technology needed to perform such a trick, I would think that it could only be done by bare chips on ceramic substrates, which is beyond surface mount technology. I would think it is beyond all but a number of companies that already design this type of product.

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    • #3
      I was seriously considering this until I read the specs which were pointless. What was even more comical is what was not being said, now google is going to give a million dollars to anyone who can build a 2KW inverter in a 40 cubic inch package... what is wrong with this picture?.

      First, nobody gives a damn if it's 60% smaller however 60% cheaper may actually make a real difference in renewables. So I figure google is just playing more pointless PR games. As I said in another post... We live in the age of Hype which seems to be much ado about nothing.

      AC

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      • #4
        AC,
        That's what I thought until I realized they basically wanted it built into a Rubic's cube, I think the fan needed to cool it would take half the given space alone. So I have to agree with you much ado about nothing.

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        • #5
          If the source of 450VDC is external then it is possible do make such inverter running cold but it would not be pure electronics

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          • #6
            coolng mass is subjective

            Originally posted by Pembelton View Post
            AC,
            That's what I thought until I realized they basically wanted it built into a Rubic's cube, I think the fan needed to cool it would take half the given space alone. So I have to agree with you much ado about nothing.
            If google wants to integrate it into a single unit with the power source then some of the cooling might be designed into the mass of the rest of the unit.

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