Solid State Transformers
However, energy distribution and conversion are also an important part of this successful equation, and new materials are enabling the development of better performing components.
Nanocrystalline soft magnetic materials are a new generation of advanced soft magnetic alloys used to control and convert electricity. Heat treatment and the addition of Niobium means they have a crystal size below 10 nanometers, which results in high permeability, low losses, and high induction under a wide range of frequency environmental and mechanical conditions. They have been applied in different components of the energy sector, including Solid State Transformers (SST), which help lead a Smart Grids.
SST is a new type of compact electric power converter that offers bi-directional power flow, reactive power control and harmonics reduction. It combines multiple power electronics components and control circuits into a single device.
SST actively regulate voltage/current by acting on primary and secondary sides of the transformer. By introducing a passive transformer in a specific converter circuit, it offers electrical isolation, full power and compact design through smaller coils.
SSTs are used to harmonize AC and DC grids and interconnect asynchronous networks, replacing passive low frequency transformers in multiple applications, such as data centers, electric traction systems and power distribution stations.
As a result of their advantages, SSTs are starting to be implemented across several industries, including in the power generation (renewables) and distribution (smart grids), as well as in transportation (EVs, electric ships, trains, aerospace).