05999721.pdf - 3534 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS VOL 26 NO 12 DECEMBER 2011 Quantifying the Value of Power Electronics in Sustainable

05999721.pdf - 3534 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS...

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3534 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON POWER ELECTRONICS, VOL. 26, NO. 12, DECEMBER 2011 Quantifying the Value of Power Electronics in Sustainable Electrical Energy Systems Jelena Popovi´c-Gerber , Member, IEEE , Jan Abraham Ferreira , Fellow, IEEE , and Jacobus Daniel van Wyk , Associate Member, IEEE Abstract —Power electronics enables the efficient generation, use, and distribution of electrical energy because it substantially improves energy conversion efficiency. In order to realize the large electrical energy savings potential enabled by power electronics suitable technological solutions at acceptable cost levels are needed. Moreover, public policy and public acceptance must play an in- creasingly important role. An effective way to quantify the value of power electronics is needed and it must be presented in such a way that it is understood and appreciated by policymakers. In this paper, energy payback time is shown to be a powerful tool for weighing the value of energy savings achieved by using power electronics versus the energy needed to manufacture the systems. A life cycle analysis of two power electronic converters and their parts is performed. The benefits of energy savings versus energy invested in manufacturing and end-of-life management of power converters is analyzed. It is shown that power electronics systems have considerably shorter energy payback time compared to other technologies. Index Terms —Energy efficiency, life cycle analysis, power electronics. I. P OWER E LECTRONICS IN A S USTAINABLE E LECTRICAL E NERGY S YSTEM T HE ever increasing demand for energy, the dwindling of fossil fuel reserves and the need for carbon footprint re- duction have resulted in a global awareness of the importance of energy savings and energy efficiency. This topic is taking high priority in today’s society, leading to many new governmental policies and measures, industrial awareness and research being conducted all over the world. Combating the energy and cli- mate problems requires a complex, multidisciplinary approach that necessitates technological solutions such as sustainable en- ergy sources and more efficient energy use alongside political Manuscript received January 1, 2011; revised July 3, 2011; accepted August 8, 2011. Date of current version December 6, 2011. This work was supported in part by the European Centre for Power Electronics (ECPE). This paper is a revised version of the paper presented at the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE), Atlanta, Georgia, September 12–16, 2010. Recom- mended for publication by Associate Editor (Letters AE) J. Biela. J. Popovic-Gerber is with the Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, and with the European Centre for Power Electronics, Nuremberg, Germany (e-mail: [email protected]).

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