THURSDAY 24 FEBRUARY, 2011 |
Google Funds Transphorm Energy Efficiency Breakthrough
It's being widely reported this morning that search giant Google has become a financial
backer of a device that promises far better efficiency in a range of
electrical devices, including solar panels.
reports California-based Transphorm has gained the backing of Google Ventures
and Kleiner Perkins.
Transphorm claims their super-efficient power modules can eliminate up to 90% of all electric conversion
losses, and in all sorts of devices; from computer servers to solar
to hybrid cars.
The greenest watt is the one that does not have to be generated and energy
is often seen as the low hanging fruit in terms of carbon
abatement and electricity consumption reduction.
Given the many and vast data centers Google operates to power its search engine,
their attraction to the technology is certainly understandable as it could
further reduce the company's emissions and electricity costs substantially.
According to the Transphorm
, over 10% of all electricity generated due to conversion
inefficiencies; a staggering figure that represents more than the entire supply
of renewable energy globally.
While brief on details, Transphorm's site says the company's efficiency
breakthrough is through the use of a material known as Gallium Nitride, or
"GaN". Gallium Nitride is able to switch at much higher frequencies
than traditional components and when coupled with Transphorm's circuit design,
enables "the world's most efficient, most compact, and most cost-effective
power conversion technology."
Transphorm is headed by Umesh Mishra, who prior to
co-founding Transphorm in 2007, was co-founder of Nitres Inc; the first
start-up company to develop GaN LEDs and transistors. Transphorm's other
co-founder is Primit Parikh, also a co-founder of Nitres and has over 15 years
in GaN and semiconductor development, technical marketing and intellectual
property. Nitres was acquired by Cree, a world leader in LED technology, in
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