Super-HEART: a fault-tolerant and highly efficient energy hub with embedded short-term energy storage for high availability electric power delivery

Solutions developed

Power electronics (PE) is spreading through society, including in mission critical applications. However, PE devices are prone to failure, and high availability is usually ensured using redundancy - which is expensive and bulky. In the meantime, PE allows hybrid (AC & DC) electric distribution, which is key to integration of solar power and use of hydrogen as energy carrier. But loads can be affected by the limited dynamics of power sources like fuel cells and by disturbances carried by the network.

With Super-HEART, we want to build an energy hub connecting power sources and load, and able to deliver uninterrupted power.

Main results

We will develop a multi-port modular converter with fault ride-through capability. This will be ensured using fault-tolerance strategies already proved in the ERC PoC Project ""U-HEART"", improved by the integration of supercapacitors (SC) to allow using reliable and low-cost mechanical switches to isolate the faulty parts instead of semiconductor switches, leading to a significantly higher TRL. Super-HEART will use SC also for compensating disturbances and the low dynamics of hydrogen-based storage. But commercial SC have power and energy densities too low to be practically considered here. Therefore, previously developed high-performance and environment friendly SC will be further optimised in this project and embedded in the converter by optimal co-design.

In parallel to the technological development, we will prepare the monetisation of the IP, comprising a market analysis, the development of solid business model and tech-to-market transition plan, and the search for clients and partners.

Ultimately, a power converter with embedded SC with availability, power density, cost, and losses, 20% better than state-of-the-art will have been developed, with reduced environmental impact. It will be ready for qualification and have undergone field tests. Potential clients and partners for the development and distribution will have been found.