The research at the Power Electronic Systems Laboratory (PES) opens up new fields of applications and drives the innovation of power electronics systems in close partnership with both Swiss and international industry. In line with the focus areas of ETH Zurich, fundamentally new concepts, e.g., for sustainable energy systems, sustainable mobility, future datacenters, and medical applications, are of primary interest, along with general scientific challenges and the pursuit of excellence and an internationally leading reputation. Main research areas are

  • ultra-compact / ultra-efficient converter systems
  • solid-state transformers
  • power supplies on chip
  • inductive power transfer
  • ultra-high speed and bearingless drive concepts.

Typically, a multi-objective optimization of the concepts is conducted, which commences with a multi-domain modeling and simulation of the systems, i.e., the mathematical description and analysis of the electrical, electromagnetic, thermal, and, in the case of electromechanical energy conversion, the mechanical behavior. Efficiency, power density, and also realization costs are set as performance indices. A detailed understanding of the achievable system performance and the design trade-offs is hereby gained in form of the Pareto Front. Additionally, the potential of a shift of the performance limits through extending the design space can be analyzed, e.g., by employing new semiconductor technologies or modulation techniques. 

The results of the theoretical considerations are finally translated into near-industrial hardware demonstrators employing latest power semiconductor and signal processing technology, whereby extreme compactness, very high efficiency, and full electromagnetic compatibility are main characteristics. This allows a direct and comprehensive comparison with existing industrial concepts and is the essential basis for the long-term successful industry research collaboration of the Power Electronic Systems Laboratory and the initiation of future innovative products.