Power Semiconductor Switch Module (PSSM), briefly termed as Power Module (PM), forms the heart of a modern electrical power system much like the microprocessor in a computing or communication system . An electrical power system consists of an electrical energy source and an electrical energy consumer, typically called an electrical load, and the two are interfaced with power electronics that manages and controls the electrical energy flow. Thus, the power system constitutes as the building block of 21st century energy economy much like the computing and communication systems were for the 20th century information economy. India missed out big on the 20th century information revolution primarily because of lack of vision, leadership and competency in semiconductor chip manufacturing on the global stage. If history were to repeat, India today is poised to face a similar threat in the energy revolution unless urgent measures are immediately taken at the national level. For India to be competitive on a global stage and support its growing energy demands, indigenous manufacturing of key power system components is a must. This notion is synergistic with the national agenda to “Make in India” and “Develop India.” For this to happen, high-tech manpower development is centric and must be pursued in parallel with technology development. This talk will discuss imminent opportunities and challenges that exist in India in both silicon and wide bandgap (WBG) power electronics including Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Silicon Carbide (SiC) materials. The focus will be on indigenous manufacturing of high-voltage power semiconductor devices, high-density power electronic switch modules and compact low-cost power converters with a “top-down” application approach based on current industrial and academic strengths.
Krishna Shenai earned his B. Tech. (electronics) degree from IIT-Madras in 1979, MS (EE) degree from the University of Maryland – College Park, Maryland (USA) in 1981, and PhD (EE) degree from Stanford University, Stanford, California (USA) in 1986. For nearly 40 years, Dr. Shenai and his students have made seminal contributions to advancing silicon and WBG power electronics technologies that have shaped the world-wide industry. In 2016, Dr. Shenai returned to India with a goal to transform high-technology education and industrialize the country. He is a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), a member of Serbian Academy of Engineers, and is a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS). Dr. Shenai has authored over 400 peer-reviewed papers, 10 books, 9 book chapters, and holds 13 issued US patents.