A high availability energy router

Super-HEART is an innovation project funded by the European commission (EIC) and which targets the development of a high-availability power converter for multi-source integration, for applications that are critical and have high downtime costs.

Electrification of society is reaching mission critical applications. However, power electronics (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 renewable power sources and use of hydrogen as energy carrier. Multi-source integration, including renewable generators and energy storage, is furthermore required to ensure continuity of operation, whilst compensating the limited dynamics of power sources like fuel cells and filtering out disturbances carried by the grid. With Super-HEART, Fraunhofer ISIT, Kiel University, and Trinity College Dublin, target the development of a high availability power converter for multi-source energy integration, for applications that require continuous operation. Data centers, net-zero energy buildings, DC-industry, and heavy-duty e-mobility are the primary target applications.

The project is addressing technical (development of super-capacitors and power electronics) development, as well as aspects related to commercialization (e.g., market and competitor analysis), together with commercialization-related technical developments (e.g., standards, certifications).

© Dahnan Spurling

Fraunhofer ISIT offers state-of-the-art development of multi-port DC-DC converters for mission-critical applications such as data centers and net zero energy buildings where power sources and loads (such as fuel-cells, photovoltaic panels, electrolyser, and data centers) are connected using a single power electronics converter.  
Compared to conventional technologies, and under the same constraints in terms of availability, Super-HEART targets: 

  • 20% lower power loss
  • 20% lower CAPEX
  • 20% smaller footprint

With Super-HEART, Fraunhofer ISIT and its academic partners aim to develop a high-availability energy hub that connects multiple sources and loads to provide clean and uninterrupted power in the 100 kW range. To achieve high availability, density and power density, we combine several innovative and state-of-the-art technologies: 

  • Magnetic power bus using a multi-winding transformer to reduce the number of conversion stages: improved efficiency & reliability
  • High switching frequency using ad hoc magnetics, SiC transistors, and optimised design
  • Custom supercapacitors developed by our partners: high power and energy densities, low environmental impact
  • Fault ride-through capability with minimum redundancy
  • System level optimisation at the design stage and during operation. Optimal power and energy management for multi-source integration
  • Modularity for power scaling well beyond 100 kW

The Benefits ...      ... of our Technology

High availability, low maintenance

🠔 Fault tolerance 

Lower costs (-20% power loss) 🠔 Low power loss, integrated structure
Smaller footprints (-20% volume) 🠔 Integrated design
Safety 🠔 Isolated converter, fault tolerance
Reduced environmental impact 🠔 Reduced WEEE, renewable energy source integration
Backup power without battery 🠔 Embedded supercapacitors, H2-based long-term backup

Partners and collaborators