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Avnet: Accumulations to meet a new round of energy revolution

Avnet: Accumulations to meet a new round of energy revolution

Previously, 70% of China’s electricity came from thermal power generation, while the proportion of renewable energy such as wind and photovoltaics was only about 15%. Due to the technical problems of grid connection, the phenomenon of abandoning light and abandoning wind still exists in some areas. By contrast, in some developed countries, the share of electricity generated from renewable sources exceeds 70%. If Chinese companies fail to significantly reduce carbon emissions, it will increase carbon costs, which will lead to higher product prices and thus lose the advantage of exporting. Therefore, the power generation industry bears the brunt of green upgrades.

Author: Ding Guojiao, Director of Field Application Management, Avnet China

Avnet: Accumulations to meet a new round of energy revolution
Author: Ding Guojiao, Director of Field Application Management, Avnet China

In 2021, “dual carbon” has become a hot word, which has inspired the society’s more ardent hopes and aspirations for a new round of energy revolution. Under the “dual carbon” goal, China’s economy will also enter a critical period of structural transformation, and the industry will develop towards a green economy, all of which make a new round of energy revolution seem imminent.

Making energy storage systems more efficient and safer

At present, 70% of China’s electricity comes from thermal power generation, and only about 15% of it is generated by renewable energy such as wind and photovoltaics. Due to the technical problems of grid connection, the phenomenon of abandoning light and abandoning wind still exists in some areas. By contrast, in some developed countries, the share of electricity generated from renewable sources exceeds 70%. If Chinese companies fail to significantly reduce carbon emissions, it will increase carbon costs, which will lead to higher product prices and thus lose the advantage of exporting. Therefore, the power generation industry bears the brunt of green upgrades.

However, the randomness, intermittency and volatility of renewable energy sources such as wind energy and photovoltaics will have an impact on the power grid and users. Therefore, on the power generation side, the energy storage system can effectively solve the smooth transition of grid connection. On the grid side, the energy storage system solves the problem of power consumption through frequency regulation and voltage regulation and flexible transmission; on the user side, it can perform functions such as peak shaving and valley filling, and emergency power supply. The special plan for energy storage has been included in the development plan of the “14th Five-Year Plan”. On the power generation side, the proportion of energy storage will not be less than 10%-15%. The diversified development of energy, such as distributed photovoltaics, solar storage charging stations, microgrids, and even electric vehicles can all become distributed energy storage systems. It can be said that the outbreak of energy storage demand has brought huge development opportunities to all companies that have laid out in advance, including Avnet, which has been cultivating in this field for a long time.

Electrochemical energy storage system is a kind of energy storage system with high energy conversion efficiency, short construction period and flexible arrangement. It is mainly composed of energy storage converter (PCS), battery (BA) and battery management system (BMS). focus of attention. Avnet has rich experience in the field of high-power power supply systems, and has reached strategic cooperation with well-known companies such as Infineon and ON semiconductor in power devices, and has accumulated a wide range of customer groups for applications such as wind energy, photovoltaics, base station power supplies, and charging piles. It is worth mentioning that Avnet has accumulated nearly ten years of cases and solutions in BMS, and has mastered core technologies in battery balancing, thermal management, system communication, fault protection and processing. Certified BMS core solution agents such as semiconductors, are good at solving BMS key technical problems for customers.

At the same time, the Avnet engineering team has experience in commercializing energy storage systems, and cooperates with more high-quality manufacturers of sensors, contactors, relays, connectors and protection circuits to solve the safety and reliability of the overall solution. At present, Avnet’s BMS solutions cover power-side energy storage and distributed diversified methods, ranging from megawatt-level to 10KW-level application scenarios, including the application of electric vehicles. In the face of the vigorous development of the energy storage industry, Avnet will increase R&D, technical support, and market investment in the energy storage field, and expand its leading edge to serve more customers.

Provide power system solutions for “hydrogen vehicles”

In the field of new energy, in addition to light energy, wind energy, water energy, etc., hydrogen energy is also a new energy that is getting more and more attention. Japan’s Toyota once produced the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell passenger car, but last year announced that it would stop producing hydrogen fuel vehicles and switch to electric vehicles, which shows that the challenges facing hydrogen fuel vehicles are huge. First of all, it is the problem of infrastructure construction. Although the cruising range of hydrogen fuel vehicles may be longer than that of traditional fuel vehicles, the hydrogenation time and refueling time are comparable, but the scarcity of hydrogenation stations reduces the convenience of hydrogenation. In addition, the technical maturity, safety and cost of high-pressure hydrogen storage and transportation, as well as the safety and cost of hydrogen storage for vehicles, are also some factors that restrict the development of hydrogen fuel vehicles in the short term. At present, the technology of electric vehicles is mature, and the cost of key components, such as batteries, has dropped rapidly, so the development is strong. There is a general consensus in the industry that the development of hydrogen fuel cell passenger vehicles is not necessary at this stage. , hydrogen fuel cell vehicles still have certain advantages. The good news is that domestic companies have broken through key fuel cell technologies, such as proton exchange membrane technology, and have powertrain capabilities, which help keep costs down. In addition, traditional petroleum and petrochemical companies have also begun to invest in infrastructure, which is expected to solve the problem of hydrogenation faster. In addition, some experts have opened up a new idea and began to explore the application of hydrogen directly as engine fuel. These new trends in hydrogen energy are worthy of attention.

Compared with electric vehicles, the advantages of “hydrogen vehicles” are also obvious – hydrogen can be obtained by electrolyzing water, and hydrogen fuel cells can generate electricity and water during use, which can truly achieve zero emissions. In contrast, the mineral resources consumed and the carbon emissions generated by the lithium battery of electric vehicles in the production process, and the carbon emissions generated by the battery recycling process, are much larger than the carbon emissions generated by hydrogen production, storage and transportation. In the use stage, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have short hydrogen charging time and high energy efficiency. The cruising range of one hydrogen charging can be more than 1,000 kilometers, which is more suitable for long-distance operation of trucks and passenger cars. At the same time, it is also convenient to deploy hydrogen refueling stations along high-speed lines. . Some data show that carbon dioxide emissions from medium and heavy commercial vehicles account for nearly 50% of all vehicle emissions. In addition to light commercial vehicles, nearly 75% of carbon dioxide emissions come from commercial vehicles. Energy saving and emission reduction has rich imagination space.

According to statistics, the national production of hydrogen fuel vehicles in 2019 was 3,022, all of which were heavy trucks and buses. In 2020, there will be about 100 hydrogen refueling stations nationwide, and by 2025, it is expected to grow to 1,000. With the improvement of infrastructure, more and more car manufacturers are willing to invest in the development of fuel cell commercial vehicles to reduce carbon emissions. At the end of 2021, BAIC Foton has delivered 600 BAIC hydrogen fuel vehicles to serve the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, indicating that the commercial use of “hydrogen electric vehicles” is moving towards a breakthrough, which also brings new opportunities for Avnet.

Avnet provides power converter DC-DC solutions for hydrogen fuel cells. As a key component of the hydrogen fuel cell engine system, the DC/DC converter is used to boost the low-voltage DC output from the fuel cell into a high-voltage DC output to provide electrical energy for the car and charge the power battery at the same time. The DC-DC converter of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles requires higher boost ratio, higher power and higher efficiency. It adopts high-voltage SiC MOSFET, which can support up to 150KW of power and the efficiency is as high as 98%. Avnet and Infineon, ON Semiconductor, Suppliers such as STMicroelectronics have partnered to develop this new area. In addition, the air compressor and water pump of the hydrogen fuel cell system are all core components. Avnet has also accumulated experience in motor control for automotive applications, providing an overall solution for system integration. At the same time, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles also need battery management. Due to the particularity of hydrogen fuel cells, independent power supply and positive and negative pressure acquisition are required. NXP’s BMS analog front end (AFE) MC33775 can meet the application requirements. In order to effectively solve the problem of heat dissipation and improve energy efficiency, Avnet has cooperated with internationally renowned thermal management companies a few years ago to customize water-cooled cooling systems for customers. It can be said that Avnet is a company rooted in China and growing with local companies. It not only provides chip products, but also provides a complete set of solutions including connectors, passive components and electromechanical products around customer applications.

Injecting new technology kinetic energy into new energy vehicles

When it comes to the energy revolution, we can’t help but talk about new energy vehicles – this is a paradigm shift in the automotive industry that has never been seen in a century under the energy revolution. The “new four modernizations” of the automobile industry, namely electrification, intelligence, networking and sharing, will be realized one after another. With the maturity of lithium-ion battery technology and the increase in production capacity, the cost has been greatly reduced, making new energy vehicles an affordable and economical means of transportation for ordinary people. The investment of public charging facilities and the technology of quick battery replacement have also alleviated the problem of difficult charging of electric vehicles to a certain extent. Compared with fuel vehicles, the cost of semiconductor devices of an electric vehicle has increased by more than 10 times. Among them, the three-electric system, namely electric drive, battery, and motor, is the main growth point of semiconductor devices.

The semiconductors and connectors, passive components and electromechanical products represented by Avnet are widely used in the field of new energy vehicles. In electrification, Avnet is delivering STMicroelectronics SiC MOSFETs to customers for main drive inverter power modules. In terms of BMS, Avnet can provide independent solutions to meet the new needs of customers, and Avnet will further invest in the integration of BMS and OBC. Different from the 12/24V power supply of fuel vehicles, electric/hybrid vehicles use high-voltage power to drive motors, such as main drive motors, electric air conditioners, fuel pumps, etc. Avnet has a variety of motor control drive solutions. In terms of intelligence, Avnet provides deliverable solutions at different levels, including NXP’s 77GHz radar module, ON Semiconductor’s image sensor module, and NXP-based driver monitoring system (DMS), smart cockpit, body Domain Control Gateway, etc.

In addition, Avnet has developed AI technology with independent intellectual property rights for a long time and successfully applied it to DMS solutions. Currently, it is cooperating with Horizon, a leader in domestic AI technology, to develop complete ADAS and smart cockpit solutions. In addition, as an important partner of Xilinx, Avnet has also launched platform cooperation with many Internet companies in the field of ADAS.

It can be said that when a new round of energy revolution is kicking off, Avnet, a “hundred-year-old store” in the technology company, has accumulated a lot to provide diversification for new fields ranging from energy storage, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and electric vehicles. It has prepared technical, product, system and solution reserves for all aspects of this round of energy revolution. Avnet will accelerate and undertake the application of the energy revolution in the fields of energy storage, hydrogen energy and electric vehicles, thus leading major changes in the industry.

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