Everyday technology such as cellphones, computers, and drones will have the ability to become smaller and more battery efficient thanks to a new miniature power converter by Lotus Microsystems.
The Technical University of Denmark spin-off company recently announced that their product, dubbed ‘the world’s smallest power converter’, is ready for market. The unit price compares to similar power converters.
When power converters convert electrical energy from a power source to a device, they often run into the problem of becoming too hot. This is known to anyone who has plugged in their phone and left it under a pillow. Lotus’ solution is making the converter out of silicone, rather than copper or epoxy, which reduces its thermal conductivity. This means the power connections within a device can run more efficiently and slow the drain of a battery. Since batteries are often made from flammable materials, there is also a safety benefit to silicone.
“There is a limit to how hot electrical components can get next to a battery,” explains Ahmed Ammar, one of the three founders of Lotus Microsystems. “Reducing heat can avoid potentially catastrophic events such as a fire.”
Apart from being more efficient, silicone is also relatively easy to recycle. This contributes to Lotus’ vision of creating green technology and working in conjunction with UN sustainability goals.
Lotus are currently focusing on devices with more simple electrical outputs but future markets will focus on more complex ones like cars. They have also garnered interest from those in the space industry for the device’s potential in harsh environments.
“One advantage we have is it can work in high temperatures – but what about high vibration and radiation?” says Ammar. “That is the ongoing research and exploration for us.”