Kareem Mansour receives Green ICT Award for master's thesis at Fraunhofer IAF and INATECH

Kareem Mansour has received the Green ICT Award of the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany (FMD) for his master’s thesis written in 2021 at Fraunhofer IAF and INATECH of the University of Freiburg. The award was presented on October 24, 2023, during the MST Congress in Dresden. In his thesis, Mansour developed a novel DC-DC voltage converter that significantly increases the efficiency of electrical energy conversion, for example in the controlling of solid-state electrocaloric heat pumps.

Kareem Mansour with the Green ICT Award and certificate at the MST Congress 2023
© Kareem Mansour
Kareem Mansour received the Green ICT Award 2023, which was presented for the first time as part of the Green ICT @ FMD competence center.

Sustainability through efficient technology

The master’s thesis was written as part of the project ElKaWe — Electrocaloric Heat Pumps. It was supervised by Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Quay and researchers in the field of power electronics around Dr. Stefan Mönch at Fraunhofer IAF and the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH) of the University of Freiburg. Prof. Dr. Amelie Hagelauer, jury chair and director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Microsystems and Solid State Technologies EMFT, and Dr. Stefan Mengel, head of division at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), presented the award.

“I believe that technology has the potential to make the world a greener, cleaner and better place. The opportunity to combine technological innovation and environment protection through eco-friendly product designs motivated me to work in the field of efficient microelectronics,” says Kareem Mansour about his motives.

DC-DC voltage converter, developed by Kareem Mansour
© Fraunhofer IAF
The demonstrator of the DC-DC voltage converter designed and realized by Kareem Mansour in his master thesis achieves an efficiency of 99.66 %.

High-efficiency power electronics for energy conversion

In his work, Mansour designed a new switching converter topology that implements partial power processing with four voltage levels. To achieve this, he combined power semiconductor devices made of gallium nitride (GaN) with conventional silicon transistors. Based on his circuit concept, Mansour realized a demonstrator that achieved a measured efficiency of 99.66% when charging capacitive loads. The concrete approach can theoretically reduce electrical losses to one-third. Experimentally, more than a halving of losses was demonstrated, thereby verifying the approach. For novel solid-state electrocaloric heat pumps, this enables a significant increase in the system-level coefficient of performance. Thus, to pump a certain heat energy, noticeably less electrical energy has to be used.

Further fields of application for the circuit concept are in electromobility (traction converters), solar energy technology (photovoltaic inverters), or data centers (cooling technology).

Kareem Mansour presents his master's thesis written at Fraunhofer IAF at the MST Congress 2023
© Kareem Mansour
Mansour was awarded for his master’s thesis entitled “Design and Implementation of a Highly Efficient Bidirectional DC-DC Converter for Multi-Phase Control of Capacitive Loads.”

Green ICT Award of FMD

The Green ICT Award is presented to outstanding student theses in the field of resource-saving information and communications technology (ICT) as part of the Green ICT @ FMD competence center. With this award, FMD wants to inspire future researchers to focus on microelectronics and efficient technology.

Power electronics at Fraunhofer IAF

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