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Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
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Disruptive Capacitor Technology to Improve Efficiency of Inverters Used in Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
Chief Executive Officer
PolyCharge America, Inc.
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published – February 3, 2020
CEOCFO: Dr. Yializis, what is PolyCharge America, Inc?
Dr. Yializis: PolyCharge is a spin-
CEOCFO: What is it about your capacitors that makes them different, better, faster, cheaper; any or all of the above?
Dr. Yializis: We have developed a disruptive capacitor technology that will have a major impact in the energy and power density of inverters used in hybrid and electric vehicles. The metallized polypropylene capacitor technology used today to manufacture DC-
It should be noted that in addition to the temperature and size limitations of the current technology, thin capacitor grade polypropylene films are produced by a handful of film OEMs worldwide. The film is then processed by metallizing OEMs that deposit the metal electrodes and slit the film into bobbins of different widths as specified by the capacitor manufacturers. Capacitor OEMs process the metallized film bobbins into wound capacitors. Therefore, the whole metallized capacitor film industry uses the same polymer dielectric, living little room for innovation and improvements in capacitor performance.
CEOCFO: Is this your PolyCharge NanoLam™ technology?
Dr. Yializis: The Polycharge Nanolam technology is a radical departure in the way metallized capacitors are produced. The film production, metallization process and capacitor winding, are replaced with a “black box” that is fed with two materials to produce the capacitors. Aluminum wire and a liquid monomer are converted into a large area nanolaminate composite material which is segmented into individual capacitors. Therefore, the three steps required to produce a conventional metallized film capacitor by three different OEMs, which also translates into three different profit margins, are reduced to a single process performed by the capacitor OEM, who now has control of the polymer dielectric chemistry, the metallization process and the dielectric thickness.
Our capacitors comprise a highly cross linked, self-
As we transition from silicone IGBTs to silicon carbide MOSFETs, what we are finding from discussions with major automotive Tier-
CEOCFO: It would seem hard to resist!
Dr. Yializis: It is hard to resist! Our biggest problem right now is also the advantage that we have over the current technology. Although we have a superior product and we have attracted the attention of many major players in the industry, the problem that we are facing is that the Nanolam capacitors are smaller than the current capacitors and can take higher temperature. Therefore, the challenge for a major inverter OEM that is introducing a new inverter model with say a volume of one or two hundred thousand units per year, is to trust that Polycharge who at this stage has limited resources, will be able to supply this quantity without interruption, from a single manufacturing facility. If they design a smaller inverter to take advantage of our capacitor properties and there is disruption in the supply, they will not be able to fit a conventional capacitor in the allocated space that will meet the size and temperature requirements.
CEOCFO: How are you addressing that challenge?
Dr. Yializis: We are basically addressing that in two ways. We are planning to put a second manufacturing facility in a different location and we are negotiating a license with a major multinational capacitor OEM to create a second source.
CEOCFO: Are you seeking additional investment, funding and partnerships?
Dr. Yializis: Yes. We are in the process of another round of financing.
CEOCFO: Is there much innovation in batteries today? Competition for PolyCharge?
Dr. Yializis: It is very interesting that you are asking this question, because if you look at batteries, there are at least one hundred companies around the planet that are looking to develop and manufacture advanced lithium batteries. In parallel there is also a significant level of development in low voltage battery-
I should also note that in addition to developing the Nanolam capacitors, Sigma Technologies utilized the same high-
CEOCFO: Are you confident that it is just a matter of time?
Dr. Yializis: Absolutely. There is no question in my mind! This technology is here to stay. We have had Nanolam capacitors with a very flat shape operating in an inverter of a Formula-
CEOCFO: When did you know you had a solution?
Dr. Yializis: We knew we had a solution when the DOE, (Department Of Energy), put out a solicitation for the development of a high energy density and high temperature DC-
CEOCFO: Why pay attention right now to PolyCharge? Why is the company important?
Dr. Yializis: The company is important because there are not too many innovations in this area of technology. Addressing parameters such as cost, size and temperature in a capacitor which is a key component of inverters used in hybrid and electric vehicles can be a huge deal. We believe that we are going to grow along with the growth of the electric drive vehicle market. The numbers for projected capacitor sales for the next five to ten years, translate to billions of dollars. Beyond the automotive applications, there are other markets and applications that we are starting to address, where the qualification requirements are more relaxed and the profit margins can be significantly higher.
“We have developed a disruptive capacitor technology that will have a major impact in the energy and power density of inverters used in hybrid and electric vehicles.”