The podcast "Sound on. Power on." by PCIM Europe, takes you on a journey through the world of power electronics. Look forward to exciting conversations among world's leading experts on current trends, challenges and driving forces in the industry.
"Power Electronics in the Energy Transition“ with Prof. Dr.‐Ing. Frank Osterwald of the Society for Energy and Climate Protection Schleswig‐Holstein
In episode 8 of "Sound On. Power On.", Frank Osterwald talks about how research, industry, and society, and projects are effectively coordinated by the Society for Energy and Climate Protection Schleswig‐Holstein (also known by its German acronym as the EKSH).
From research into materials and components such as wide bandgap semiconductors, to how island microgrids show a way forward for the smart grids of the future.
Frank Osterwald also investigates how - with almost twice as much renewable generation capacity as can be used locally - green hydrogen is opening opportunities for energy storage, industrial applications, and transport, as well as cross-sector coupling to use the "waste" warmth from electrolysis for district heating.
Prof. Dr.‐Ing. Frank Osterwald studied electrical engineering at Technical University Berlin (TU Berlin), where he graduated as Diplom‐Ingenieur in 1995. As research assistant at Fraunhofer‐IZM (Institute for Reliability and Microintegration), Berlin, Germany, he got his doctorate in 1999.
After that he took management positions in industry, including as director of R&D for Smart Card Modules at ORGA Kartensysteme, Flintbek, Germany; director of R&D and technology and member of the management board at AEMtec, Berlin, Germany; and senior director of R&D on the management board of Danfoss Silicon Power, Flensburg, Germany, which included additional responsibilities for relations with universities and industry associations.
Today, Frank Osterwald is an honorary professor at University of Applied Sciences Kiel, Germany, a director at PCIM Europe, and, since October 2021, Managing Director of the Gesellschaft für Energie und Klimaschutz (Society for Energy and Climate Protection) Schleswig‐Holstein (EKSH), in Kiel, Germany.
„Trends in E-Mobility testing“ with Michael Himmels from EA Elektro-Automatik
To meet the needs of E-Mobility developers and testers, today's high-power, power supplies and loads have to be programmable and able to simulate different scenarios, as well as to provide measurement data to not just test, but also validate and qualify batteries and fuel cells.
If we view this also in the context of time-to-market (and total cost of ownership), the right (bi-directional) power supply can play a role by being scalable not just in power, but also in interaction: that is, reusing tests and programming effort while transitioning from development to prototypes, and from prototypes to production.
At the end of the life cycle, after being used in E-Mobility, degraded batteries may have a second life in domestic or grid-coupled storage – but they need to be thoroughly qualified. Bi-directional power supplies can help, again, in achieving this – or in deep discharging batteries and fuel cells for recycling.
In episode 7 of "Sound On. Power On.", Michael Himmels, Head of Product Management at EA Elektro-Automatik, talks about the role of power supplies, and how they continue to rise to emerging challenges.
More information on EA Elektro-Automatik can be found here.
Michael Himmels, Head of Product Management at EA Elektro-Automatik (EA), drives product development forward with passion and know-how. Michael brings expertise from years of experience and a graduate degree in electronic engineering. His focus at EA is on Power Electronics for future markets such as e-mobility, renewable energy, as well as hydrogen production and fuel cells.
He formerly developed analog modems and DSL devices before moving on to a technical manager position at a network company, where he built the development department from the ground up. After that, Michael held the position of CTO at an international electrical engineering company, responsible for the entire product range of battery test systems. In 2020, he started at EA as Head of R&D and subsequently took over product management.
„The role of high-power converters in efficient and stable smart grids“ with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Marco Liserre from Kiel University
The design and deployment of power converters are essential for the efficiency and smooth operation of modern smart grids.
In episode 6 of the "Sound On. Power On." podcast, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Marco Liserre, Chair of Power Electronics, Kiel University, and the new host David Hegarty talk about the role of power converters in so many parts of the modern grid.
Widespread use means efficiency makes a huge difference. Modular topologies can be tweaked to push this efficiency and reduce the effects of passive components. Central to this achieving this potential is the use of digital twins, and power-hardware-in-the-loop to enable the synergetic design and prototyping of effective modulation and control – which apart from boosting efficiencies can also improve the handling of faults at the component and system levels.
While this has long been obvious for wind and photovoltaic generation, the spread of charging stations has also created new infrastructure challenges, where smart power converters can play an essential role in grid-forming and -management, contributing to the stability of the whole system.
More information can be found in the following:
- A Comprehensive Assessment of Multiwinding Transformer-Based DC–DC Converters
- Thermal Digital Twin of Power Electronics Modules for Online Thermal Parameter Identification
- Unlocking the Hidden Capacity of the Electrical Grid Through Smart Transformer and Smart Transmission
- DC Fault Current Blocking With the Coordination of Half-Bridge MMC and the Hybrid DC Breaker
- Cross domain fusion in power electronics dominated distribution grids
Marco Liserre obtained the MSc and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Politecnico di Bari in 1998 and 2002 respectively. He has been Associate Professor at the Politecnico di Bari and, since 2012, Professor of Reliable Power Electronics at Aalborg University (Denmark). Since 2013 he is Full Professor and holds the Chair of Power Electronics at the Kiel University (Germany). He has been offered and declined professorships at several universities. He has published more than 700 technical papers (1/3 of them in international refereed journals), one book and 7 granted patents (4 with companies). These works have received more than 50,000 citations. Marco Liserre was selected as a Highly Cited Researcher in the field of Engineering (Clarivate Web of Science) from 2014 to 2021. Several of his students (MSc, PhD and post-docs) are in leading positions in industry and universities worldwide. In 2023, he joined the Fraunhofer ISIT on a part-time basis as deputy director and director of the new division "Electronic Energy Systems", as well as of the Kiel branch of the Fraunhofer ISIT.
He is a member of IAS, PELS, PES and IES. He has served all these societies in various capacities. In PELS, he is Co-Editor of the IEEE Open Access Journal in Power Electronics and Technical Committee Chairman of the Committee on Electronic Power Grid Systems. He has co-chaired several IEEE conferences being several times Chairman. He has received 16 awards from IEEE, PCIM and EPE-PEMC, including the prestigious 2018 IEEE-IES Mittelmann Achievement Award and the 2023 IEEE-PELS R. David Middlebrook Achievement Award. In 2023, he was awarded the title of "Ufficiale" by the President of the Italian Republic. In 2025 he will be Chairman of Powertech 2025 in Kiel.
„Future Challenges for Magnetics in Power Electronics“ with Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Peter Zacharias, University of Kassel
Peter Zacharias (M'06) received the Dipl.-Ing. (1979) and Dr.-Ing. degrees (1986) in electrical engineering from Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany.
In 1983/1984, he did postdoctoral research in the field of power laser technology at the Polytechnic Institute in Kiev. Until 1990, he was lecturer for power electronics at the University of Magdeburg.
From 1990 to 1995 he worked with Lambda Physik GmbH in Göttingen. In 1995, he moved to the Institute for Solar Energy Technology (ISET) in Kassel and 2001 to eupec GmbH in Warstein, Germany.
Since 2005 he is full professor of electrical power supply systems at Kassel University. Since January 2009, he is heading the Competence Center for Distributed Electrical Power Systems (KDEE), which focuses on high-efficiency power converters for industrial and public applications of renewable energy sources. His work focuses on power electronic energy converters and their control as well as inductive components as bottlenecks for achieving high energy densities.
"Trends in switch-mode power supplies – how far we've come" with Dr. Peter Wallmeier, Delta Energy Systems (Germany) GmbH
The efficiency of switch-mode power supplies impacts energy use, from the consumption of the smart-phones in our pockets, to the photovoltaics powering our grids. Pushing that efficiency beyond today's 98% has an important role to play in fighting climate change - and energy costs. While the last 40 years have brought many advances in semiconductors, there is an increasing need for investment to improve the capabilities and properties of magnetic materials too.
Prof. Marco Jung talks to Dr. Peter Wallmeier, Senior Director R&D at Delta Energy Systems, about the issues in episode 4 of the"Sound On. Power On." podcast.
They also discuss the important opportunity presented by the combination of reactive loading, renewable power sources and storage in alleviating the voltage and frequency deviations that result from the increasing stresses on our modern, complex and interconnected power grids.
Dr. Peter Wallmeier got his Master / PhD degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Paderborn in 1994 / 2000. Until 1995 he was EMC Engineer at ZIAM GmbH and until 2000 research assistant at the Institute of Power Electronics and Electrical Drives of the University of Paderborn.
In 2000 he joined Eupec GmbH, today Infineon, as Power Module Project Engineer and in 2001 ASCOM-today Delta- Energy Systems, as Senior Engineer and since 2004 as R&D manager.
He changed in 2008 to AEG Power Solutions as R&D manager and was from 2010 the Group Chief Technical Officer. In 2014 he rejoined Delta as Senior Director R&D.
He holds several patents in magnetics and power electronics and published international. He is with VDE, IEEE, ECPE and member of the PCIM Advisory Board. His research areas are power electronics and devices, magnetics, electromagnetic fields, and EMC.
"Using HIL and P-HIL for cost effective and reproducible testing of power electronics" with Dr. Ravinder Venugopal, OPAL-RT Germany GmbH
Real-time simulation helps accelerate development and derisk early implementations in the race to transform to e-mobility and renewables. (Power) hardware-in-the-loop plays an important role. Among notable current needs is to simulate the new scenarios presented by grids with converter-driven energy sources, not least in testing for resonances, or black start conditions. For real-time simulation – particularly integrating power hardware – this presents new challenges to balance stability, accuracy, speed, and scale.
Prof. Marco Jung talks to Ravinder Venugopal, Managing Director at OPAL-RT Germany, about the issues and approaches (from parallel processing to solvers and FPGAs) in episode 3 of the "Sound On. Power On." podcast.
They also discuss the future, with digital twins harnessing live data to improve real-time simulations, with the support of AI.
Dr. Ravi Venugopal is the managing director of OPAL-RT Germany GmbH, the German subsidiary of OPAL-RT Technologies, a global market-leader in real-time simulation of power systems and power electronics.
He earned his doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, (USA) specializing in control systems. Furthermore he holds a master’s degrees in electrical engineering and aerospace engineering. He has over 25 years of experience in the field of real-time simulation across the energy, aerospace and automotive sectors. In the last ten years, he has worked closely with technical leaders on hardware-in-the-loop testing for power electronic systems with a focus on renewable energy integration and e-mobility. He is keenly interested in technology transition from academic and research institutions to industrial practice.
“Key applications for WBG power semiconductors and future outlook” with Dr. Peter Friedrichs, Infineon
In the latest episode of "Sound on. Power on", host Prof. Marco Jung discusses the key applications of WBG power semiconductors with his guest Dr. Peter Friedrichs from Infineon and gives an outlook on the future. In addition to PV and electro mobility, uninterruptible power supplies are also mentioned and discussed as key innovation drivers. Both particularly emphasize the advantages of WBG in the context of energy efficiency and resource efficiency. In addition to SiC semiconductors, GaN semiconductors and their possible areas of application will be discussed. Furthermore, Peter and Marco consider the step into the high-power class, but only with corresponding packaging concept.
Dr. Peter Friedrichs holds a degree in microelectronics, a degree in business administration and engineering, and a PhD in electrical engineering, specialized in SiC power devices. He joined Infineon in 2011 and holds the position of Vice President SiC. He is author or co-author of more than 50 scientific papers and conference proceedings and holds numerous patents in the field of SiC power devices and technologies.
“The future of power electronics” with Frede Blaabjerg, Aalborg University
In the first episode of “Sound On. Power On.” host Prof. Marco Jung and his guest Prof. Frede Blaabjerg from the Aalborg University in Denmark discuss trends in power electronics. Decentralized power generation through renewable energies, especially photovoltaic and wind energy, is on the rise worldwide. What are the next tasks for a success? Listen to Frede sharing his thoughts on the role of hydrogen as a future energy carrier and the main challenges correlating with this development. Marco and Frede provide answers on how to manage a successful energy transition considering a decrease in energy consumption, particularly in industrial applications. They talk about silicon carbide semiconductors in electric vehicles that promise higher efficiency, but also higher costs in comparison to Si-IGBTs. Where is the journey going?
Frede Blaabjerg (S’86–M’88–SM’97–F’03) was with ABB-Scandia, Randers, Denmark, from 1987 to 1988. From 1988 to 1992, he got the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering at Aalborg University in 1995. He became an Assistant Professor in 1992, an Associate Professor in 1996, and a Full Professor of power electronics and drives in 1998. From 2017 he became a Villum Investigator. He is honoris causa at University Politehnica Timisoara (UPT), Romania and Tallinn Technical University (TTU) in Estonia.
His current research interests include power electronics and its applications such as in wind turbines, PV systems, reliability, harmonics and adjustable speed drives. He has published more than 600 journal papers in the fields of power electronics and its applications. He is the co-author of four monographs and editor of ten books in power electronics and its applications.
He has received 33 IEEE Prize Paper Awards, the IEEE PELS Distinguished Service Award in 2009, the EPE-PEMC Council Award in 2010, the IEEE William E. Newell Power Electronics Award 2014, the Villum Kann Rasmussen Research Award 2014, the Global Energy Prize in 2019 and the 2020 IEEE Edison Medal. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS from 2006 to 2012. He has been Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Power Electronics Society from 2005 to 2007 and for the IEEE Industry Applications Society from 2010 to 2011 as well as 2017 to 2018. In 2019-2020 he served as a President of IEEE Power Electronics Society. He has been Vice-President of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences.
He is nominated in 2014-2020 by Thomson Reuters to be between the most 250 cited researchers in Engineering in the world.
About the host
David Hegarty is a technical content specialist at Lexsys Language Consultants, with a wide range of interests and experiences over his many years working with companies from startups to multinationals.
Born, and raised in Ireland, David studied electronic engineering at Dublin City University. After graduating, he worked in firmware development for lab and production test equipment, and transitioned – through user interface development – to technical writing. After moving to Germany to focus first on user documentation, he branched out into the full spectrum of B2B communication covering technology products in old, “new” and social media: from white papers and articles to videos and websites.
His experience as a commercial communicator ranges from IT to manufacturing, from fibre-optics test to clinical laboratories, and from patient monitors to power electronics.
Driven by an endless curiosity for the potential in new and improving technologies, he is excited to moderate the „Sound On. Power On.“ podcast, and get the chance to probe the minds of the people at the heart of today’s advances in power electronics, intelligent motion, renewable energy and energy management.
Your opportunities to join the podcast
Are you looking for ways to increase your visibility and reach within the power electronics community? Do you want to share your expertise and want to integrate new approaches into your communication mix? Then the participation packages of the podcast are just the right thing for you. According to your goals, you can select between two packages.
Let us know what you think – we’re happy to hear from you, whether it’s general feedback or a certain guest speaker or a hot topic you have on your mind. Or maybe you would like to join the podcast as a speaker yourself? Text us via firstname.lastname@example.org.