LEITNING is the name of the joint project which brings industry together with academia towards developing a multifunctional, mobile inverter which can supply electricity flexibly to a local island network or parallel grid. It could provide energy security for critical services such as water supply, petrol stations and terraces, as well as for heating buildings and powering essential communications.
Although Germany has one of the most reliable national electricity grids in the world, the challenges of switching to renewable energy sources (which mainly output direct current DC) requires stabilising equipment.
The inverter will use modern silicon carbide semiconductors and innovative magnetic components which are to be operated at a switching frequency of up to 200 kHz. As a result, the costs of the inverter can be reduced from today's 50 – 90 to an estimated 30 – 60 EUR/kilowatt. At the same time, there would be no loss of power density, in fact there would be a slight increase.
LEITNING (which stands for "power converters for robust and reliable energy supply by integrating green generators”) is led by Infineon Technologies AG (Munich) and brings together the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences (H-BRS) and the Fraunhofer IEE (Kassel) into partnership with SWW Wunsiedel GmbH, FREQCON GmbH and SUMIDA Components & Modules GmbH.
If successful, the LEITNING inverter could become an essential component of any emergency energy supply or island network setup anywhere in the world. Further possible applications include renewable energy power generation, energy and medical technology, aviation, automobility, local transport infrastructure or maritime propulsion technology.
The project will be funded until March 2024 with EUR 6.42 million, which the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy is providing from the 7th Energy Research Programme.