Power Magnetics: Addressing the Bottleneck in Energy Systems

Power Magnetics: Addressing the Bottleneck in Energy Systems
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 3:00pm
Lathrop Library, Bishop Auditorium
Alex Hanson (MIT)
Abstract / Description: 

Power conversion is a hidden hindrance to many of our most exciting and necessary developing technologies, including renewable energy, robotics, electrified transportation, and power-hungry artificial intelligence. At the same time, a new power technology landscape has emerged which has shifted the performance bottleneck to magnetic components. Indeed, inductors and transformers now routinely dominate both the size and losses in power converters, and converters in turn frequently limit the performance of the overall application. Improvements in power magnetics thus have a direct path to societal impact.

To relieve the magnetics bottleneck, we must improve materials, structures, and circuit architectures to take advantage of advanced components. To make an impact, we also need to enable industry to apply these important research conclusions. This seminar will present recent discoveries in high- performance magnetic materials, very low loss high-frequency inductor structures, and recent efforts to apply these advancements to current industrial applications. In addition, we will discuss how we are transforming these advancements from laboratory proofs-of-concept to profitable realities, with impact on systems at orders-of-magnitude different power levels.



Alex Hanson is a PhD student in the Power Electronics Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he has published on magnetics, power electronic circuits and control, and wide bandgap semiconductor devices. He is also an advisor in the MIT Communication Lab, an initiative to improve graduate students' professional communication skills. He received the S.M. degree from MIT and previously received the B.E. degree from Dartmouth College, where his research included on-chip magnetics and partial shading of solar arrays.