Packaging Lab for Electronic Energy Systems Developed

Achievement date: 
2014
Outcome/accomplishment: 

A new Packaging Lab in Electronic Energy Systems (PREES) has been built at North Carolina State University in collaboration with the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center (ERC). The new facilities will foster experimental methods for power electronic device fabrication.

Impact/benefits: 

The interdisciplinary PREES lab combines mechanical, electrical, structural, and materials engineering expertise to develop a new packaging discipline known as “Printable Power Electronics.” The effort combines rapid prototyping with fluid dispensing and 3-D printing to provide flexible methods of physically creating unique 3-D electrical and mechanical power packages. If successful, this emerging technique will bring a new capability for ultra-fast, low cost device fabrication that could dramatically increase the use of new high-efficiency power electronic devices.

Explanation/Background: 

The PREES facilities create enhanced capabilities for team research, education, and industry-focused development activities that complement the power electronics and device expertise at NC State. In Spring 2013 an inaugural teaching course, “Electronic Energy Packaging” (ECE 792), was launched in the new space. The PREES facilities are also supporting undergraduate senior design projects in printed-polymer circuits demonstration.

PREES spans three locations on campus, including:  the Keystone Science Center; the Monteith Research Center (Room 331 at 825 square feet); and Engineering Building-II (Room B005 at 820 square feet). The EB-II B005 location is structured as a teaching and research lab, whereas the MRC 331 space is structured for high voltage research (where voltage is greater than five kilovolts). The Keystone Lab includes full circuit and multiphysics modeling and simulation with PLECS and COMSOL software. High-power testing capability is also included through the FREEDM power lab.