The electric drive system is the technology foundation for hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles. That's why NREL's Advanced Power Electronics project supports and promotes the design, development, and demonstration of power electronic components and systems that will overcome major technical barriers to the commercialization of hybrid, advanced internal combustion, and fuel cell vehicle technologies.
In support of DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program, our researchers focus on developing advanced power electronics and electric machinery technologies that improve reliability, efficiency, and ruggedness, and dramatically decrease systems costs for advanced vehicles. Key components for these vehicles include the motor controller, DC to DC converters, and inverters that condition the electrical signal between the power generation unit (a fuel cell or battery) and the electric motor to provide power to various components.
NREL's advanced power electronics research is funded by DOE's Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. This work crosscuts and supports many NREL programs and is led by the Center for Transportation Technologies and Systems.