Marelli Motorsport and Politecnico di Torino together for engine electrification

September 12, 2022
The collaboration aims at the development of gallium nitride technology applied to high-voltage power converters.

The divisione Motorsport di Marelli, che si occupa di sistemi ibridi/elettrici per i campionati motorsport, ha iniziato una collaborazione con il Power Electronics Innovation Center del Politecnico di Torino: l’obiettivo è lavorare congiuntamente alle tecnologie basate sull’uso del nitruro di gallio per l’elettronica di potenza applicata a motori elettrici.

Nello specifico le due realtà puntano a progettare e prototipare un inverter multilivello innovativo da 900 V a elevata potenza per le motorizzazioni elettriche. Grazie alla tecnologia GaN, evoluta rapidamente negli ultimi anni, il gallium nitride makes it possible to ridurre sensibilmente l’utilizzo di energia di commutazione mantenendo un’alta efficienza per i motori, con una riduzione dei componenti passivi come induttori, condensatori e trasformatori, con un costo molto competitivo.

The concept study started in 2021 and is now in the prototyping phase, divided into two development stages to be completed by 2022. The GaN components are being supplied by VisIC Technologies, the project's third partner and a global player in the use of gallium nitride in high-voltage solutions for the automotive sector.

The possible applications do not only concern the motorsport sector, which has always been an important avant-garde in innovation and in the rapid testing under extreme conditions of new technologies to be applied to the automotive sector: the skills that will be developed during this collaboration and the technologies that will be created will be fundamental assets for Marelli in the field of supplying new components for mass-produced cars.

Riccardo De Filippi, Head of Marelli Motorsport, said: "The collaboration with the Politecnico di Torino allows a faster pace of development in the field of innovative Wide Band Gap technology applied to power converters".

Radu Bojoi, President of the Turin Polytechnic's Power Electronics Innovation Center, added: "The collaboration with Marelli is a further demonstration of the many advantages and synergies possible between University and Industry when they join forces in accelerating the application of new technologies aimed at the development of state-of-the-art devices".

Tamara Baksht, CEO of VisIC Technologies, concluded: "The project with Marelli and PEIC to develop gallium nitride-based multilevel inverters for electric vehicles represents the breakthrough of gallium nitride technology in the automotive sector. 

(Photo: Marelli Motorsport)

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Luca Coppolella
Head of Content

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