Industry White Papers

Bidirectional power: the quiet driver behind world-changing technologies

September 09, 2018 by Vicor Corporation

Converting interchangeable loads and sources on committed power interconnect is becoming more commonplace in the art of switch-mode power design. Simple, robust schemes have ended up serving in strategically important applications such as those in the DC bus system of NASA's International Space Station and in the more familiar world of automotive hybrid electric vehicles. As more diverse sources of energy lend themselves to economical and efficient conversion into electricity, the need to streamline the delivery of electrical power from one DC potential to another becomes more apparent. Switched-mode power conversion is a well-established means of achieving high-efficiency DC regulation. It has been found that making adaptations to a proprietary switched-mode resonant topology results in the achievement of a reliable, high-performance bidirectional converter (BDC). The flexibility BDCs offer in numerous applications brings significant economic and operational outcomes.

The bidirectional capability is critical in the everyday world with which we are all familiar, as well as in a future that holds the possibility of developing new energy storage and utility schemes that are highly suited to exploration and settlement in remote locations of all kinds.

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