2012 CPES Annual Report

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Virginia Tech. Center for Power Electronics Systems


The Center for Power Electronics Systems at Virginia Tech is a research center dedicated to improving electrical power processing and distribution that impact systems of all sizes – from battery – operated electronics to vehicles to regional and national electrical distribution systems. Our mission is to provide leadership through global collaborative research and education for creating advanced electric power processing systems of the highest value to society. CPES, with annual research expenditures about $4-5 million US dollars, has a worldwide reputation for its research advances, its work with industry, and its many talented graduates. From its background as an Engineering Research Center for the National Science Foundation during 1998 - 2008, CPES has continued to work towards making electric power processing more efficient and more exact in order to reduce energy consumption. Power electronics is the “enabling infrastructure technology” that promotes the conversion of electrical power from its raw form to the form needed by machines, motors and electronic equipment. Advances in power electronics can reduce power conversion loss and in turn increase energy efficiency of equipment and processes using electrical power. This results in increased industrial productivity and product quality. With widespread use of power electronics technology, the United States would be able to cut electrical energy consumption by 33 percent. This energy savings in the United States alone is estimated to be the equivalent of output from 840 fossil fuel based generating plants. This savings would result in enormous economic, environmental and social benefits.