- The $70-billion global power inverter market is expected to climb to $95 billion by 2028
- Hillcrest has patented new inverter technology with an initial focus on the EV market that can make EVs lighter and more powerful with extended range
- The company has released an updated white paper on the benefits of the technology, which has quickly caught the attention of companies across multiple industries
It’s not uncommon for new technology to start out slow and then hit a hockey-stick type of growth. The reasoning is simple: it takes time to get the concept mainstream and then more companies jump in the mix, exponentially increasing the manpower and investment behind it. Take electric vehicles (“EVs”) for instance. A decade ago, there were only a handful of players. Now, some carmakers are transitioning to all electric and countries globally are under mandates to eliminate fossil-fuel-powered vehicles entirely in the coming decades. To that point, some of the technology of the future isn’t exactly far down the road. “Tomorrow is today,” as explained by Don Currie, CEO of Hillcrest Energy Technologies (CSE: HEAT) (OTCQB: HLRTF) (FRA: 7HIA.F), in a recent Bell2Bell podcast.
Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Hillcrest is a clean technology company developing high-value, high-performance power conversion technologies and digital control systems for next-generation powertrains and grid-connected renewable energy systems. Specifically, Hillcrest is in the commercialization phase of a high-efficiency inverter that is already of great interest across multiple industries, including the EV market, which is the company’s initial focus.
Today’s EVs have four critical components: battery system, inverter, motor, and onboard charger. The inverter converts direct current (“DC”) into alternating current (“AC”) for use in the electric motors in the drivetrain, or propulsion system. The designs of today’s inverters are a careful balance of range and cost considerations, and, frankly, ripe for innovation to overcome challenges sapping system efficiency. This is Hillcrest’s sweet spot, as discussed in a recently updated white paper on the company’s technology. The update added the latest results from testing and built upon previously confirmed efficiency of the inverter by specifically looking at efficiencies related to Hillcrest’s mastery of zero voltage switching, or soft switching.
According to Hillcrest CTO Ari Berger, the new test results, “…clearly demonstrate that zero-voltage switching is both feasible and it offers several cost and performance benefits relative to overall system size, complexity and weight of future electric vehicles.”
Hillcrest’s inverter technology eliminates today’s design trade-offs, with inverter efficiency greater than 99%. While allowing high switching frequencies without the traditional sacrifices, Hillcrest’s inverter is smaller, lighter, and more powerful, a combination that improves system performance and reliability. Thermal management can be an engineer’s nightmare as EVs produce a great deal of heat. Another benefit of Hillcrest’s inverter technology is that it reduces thermal management requirements, further adding to safety and performance.
These differentiating factors have generated quite a bit of interest from upstart companies through Tier 1 suppliers to global automakers. Lending some color as to why the surge in interest, Harald Hengstenberger, managing director and founder of Systematec GmbH, a strategic partner to Hillcrest and current power electronics design house to the German automotive industry, recently said, “The ability of the Hillcrest high-efficiency inverter to operate at much higher switching frequencies without generating additional losses will now allow motor manufacturers to take advantage of new motor concepts not previously available to them.”
Hillcrest is currently in the commercial prototype phase for its EV traction inverter and expects to have working prototypes in hand in the coming months. At that point, interested parties will be invited to come see them firsthand operating in the lab, which could result in agreements from potential partners or customers before the end of year, opined Currie during the Bell2Bell podcast.
With the global power inverter market currently at $70 billion and expected to climb to $95 billion by 2028, Hillcrest is positioned well to capitalize on the burgeoning EV market.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.HillcrestEnergy.tech.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to HLRTF are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/HLRTF
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