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Former INESC TEC researcher distinguished with the SEMIKRON Young Engineer Award 2018

The former researcher of INESC TEC's Centre for Power and Energy Systems (CPES) and currently Head of R&D at startup AddVolt, Diogo Varajão was distinguished on 22 March in Stuttgart with the SEMIKRON Young Engineer Award 2018. The reason for the distinction was the "ACDC CUBE" technology, developed during his doctoral work at INESC TEC and at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto.

The prize was awarded by SEMIKRON, leading company in supplying power modules for electronic converters that operates in the wind, solar and electric mobility markets. This prize is awarded in partnership with ECPE - European Center for Power Electronics, which gathers the leading companies in the industry of power electronics like SIEMENS, BOSCH, ABB, GE, ALSTOM, Danfoss, SMA, Infineon, PHILIPS, BMW, DAIMLER, VW, Continental, AIRBUS, among others.

The PhD thesis of the former INESC TEC researcher, which was supervised by Rui Esteves Araújo (CPES) and co-supervised by João Abel Peças Lopes (INESC TEC’S Member of the Board), consisted in increasing the power density of a single-stage bidirectional and isolated AC-DC matrix converter for energy storage systems in batteries. After more than a year of scientific research, a new modulation for an electronic power converter based on matrix converters was proposed. On August 2014, INESC TEC decided to protect the intellectual property associated to this technology by submitting a provisional patent application through INESC TEC’s Technology Licensing Office (SAL). Afterwards, INESC TEC submitted an international patent application that is still on the national phase of the grant procedure.

In order to experimentally validate this invention, a prototype with a TRL 4 was designed and tested in laboratory. This creation used cutting-edge technologies, namely Silicon Carbide (SiC) MOSFET transistors to increase the efficiency of energy conversion and an FPGA to implement the modulation for matrix converter. The experimental results showed the benefits of the "ACDC CUBE" and were published on the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, the leading scientific magazine for that field of study.

This prize recognizes Diogo Varajão's experience on the power electronics field as well as the supervision team and the INESC TEC's team of the Laboratory of Smart Grids and Electric Vehicles that has been developing important research with international recognition in this area.


The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC and UP-FEUP.