Alternative Power from Transphorm Energy Technology

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Founded in 2007, Transphorm Energy Technology unveiled it's gallium nitride module on February 23 of 2011. This module promises to be an important development in energy waste reduction technology.

Transphorm's Gallium Nitride Module

Google Ventures, along with other investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Foundation Capital and Lux Capital have stepped into clean energy with Transphorm Energy Technology's Co-founder and CEO, Umesh Mishra. Transphorm's newest creation is touted as a new power conversion module that has the potential to reduce energy waste by as much as 90 percent. If you have a difficult time visualizing just how staggering this amount of energy savings means to the country, the company gives the example of imagining the energy needs of the entire West Coast of America no longer existing. That is how much energy Transphorm claims it can regain with its gallium nitride modules that convert power.

How Does It Work?

The module, based on gallium nitride, is quite a change from the current modules used throughout the country. The first most noticeable difference is that the standard ones are based on silicon. It's a commonly known fact within the energy industry that a silicon-based conduit isn't an efficient way to convert energy into usable high voltage. In fact, over 10 percent of the energy converted this way is lost during the conversion process. Umesh Mishra of Transphorm announced during the news brief that gallium nitride makes this conversion without any waste of energy.

Practical Applications

During the March 2011 Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC), Transphorm demonstrated its energy module. The company explained how its module can eliminate 90 percent of lost electricity that currently occurs during the energy conversion process of electricity from the source to the motor or electronic device. This conversion process occurs in everything electrical such as data farms, individual laptops and every single electrical system and device in the country. The company cited a staggering national cost of $40 billion lost each year due to energy loss during this conversion process.

Goleta, California based Transphorm boasts that it has the capability to custom-design power modules so they can be built directly into electrical systems. The module applications are endless. Companies can buy modules specific to their products and install them during the manufacturing process. The company's first targeted markets include data server centers, elevator motors, hybrid cars and inverters for solar panels. Transphorm's March 2011 announcement stated that orders were coming in and that the company is currently focused on those fulfillments, with plans to accommodate new business in future years.

About Transphorm CEO Umesh Mishra

In addition to serving as Transphorm's co-founder and CEO, Professor Umesh Mishra (University of California, Santa Barbara) is also the Director of the AFOSR PRET Center for Non-Stoichiometric Semiconductors and of the ONR MURI Center (IMPACT). As head of Transphorm, his credential span universities from coast to coast from North Carolina State University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to the University of Michigan.

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Alternative Power from Transphorm Energy Technology