Semiconductors contribute to revolutionize Electrical Technology
We live in a rapidly growing society where technology is touching a new mark every day. The world is witnessing a rise in energy conservation and in the realization of a sustainable society. Mitsubishi Electric is consistently working towards creating innovations that realize the need for sustainable development. Mitsubishi Electric deals in a wide range of products & solutions and its Semiconductors & Devices holds a prominent position in the technological market. Semiconductors have many roles to play from converting and transferring renewable energy to enabling responsive and efficient use of electricity.
Semiconductors have evolved much over the years, this has improved their performance related to speed and functionality. They are widely used in Solar Power, Wind energy and HEV/EVs which play a key role in reducing power consumption in them.
How Inverter Technology helps in energy saving
With the growth of technology, companies have now realized and developed ways to use electricity efficiently. Today, many devices that run on electricity have built-in components called inverters (or converters). They have the role of converting the direct current and alternating current of electricity thereby save the loss of energy in this process.
For example, an air conditioner with inverter technology will run continuously but will draw only that much power that is required to keep the temperature stable at the level desired. So, it automatically adjusts its capacity based on the requirement of the room it is cooling. Thus, drawing much less power and consuming lesser units of electricity
Role of Power Semiconductors
Power semiconductors are mostly used in power conversion such as in changing voltages and frequencies, as well as changing DC to AC and AC to DC. Through the help of semiconductors, it makes leading current in one direction, increasing electrical signals and Opening/ closing of electricity flow.
Applications of Semiconductors in the Modern age
Semiconductors act as a vein for any electrical appliance. Many of the digital consumer products in everyday life such as mobile phones, digital cameras, television, washing machines, refrigerators, and LED Bulbs use semiconductors.
- Household Electric Appliances: Semiconductors play an important role in our day to day lives. To maintain Household Electric appliances to work efficiently, there is a need to control and adjust the motor speed flexibly to reduce unnecessary movement. It contributes to energy saving by reducing power consumption. For example, the Inverter circuit and temperature sensors used in air conditioners are made up of semiconductors.
- Traction: Semiconductors play a vital role in supporting the traction motor related to electric current passage and rotation of motor. The electricity received from the wire is converted to an appropriate size and the motor is rotated. The speed can be changed by adjusting the amount of electricity and the amount of electricity flow and controlling the rotation of the motor.
In addition, electricity that is large enough to move the train cannot be directly applied to the air conditioning equipment or lighting in the car, so it can be adjusted to an appropriate voltage using semiconductors.
- Industrial Automation Products: Semiconductors are also driving Industrial Automation products in a significant manner.
The electric current required for the automation products to run efficiently without any hassle is given by semiconductors. The power supplied to the products such as robots, servo systems, etc. is converted to the appropriate voltage required by the machines.
- Electric/Hybrid Vehicles: The application of semiconductors in Electric Vehicles makes them more efficient and reliable. Semiconductors are the key components for making the safety and clean energy generation. They are responsible for the connectivity and rechargeable batteries within electric vehicles. The IGBT module consist of a high voltage, high-current switch connected that directly to the traction motor in a hybrid-electric/electric vehicle. In order to turn the motor, it takes direct current energy from the car's battery and, converts the alternating current control signals via inverter. With increase in IGBT efficiency, there is low power lost in terms of wasted heat, thereby, providing better mileage.
- Power Generation- Wind/Solar: The process of converting solar energy to electric energy is done through photovoltaic effect (PV), where it helps in converting the sun’s energy through PV cells which are made up of silicon-semiconductors. So, when the light falls on PV cells it absorbs and transfers that energy to the electrons in semiconductors material which then flows as electric current and generates power.
Power semiconductors are the main component to produce energy from renewable sources. In wind turbines, power semiconductors are used to convert power and to couple the generator with the grid.