A team at Sandia National Laboratories led by Todd Monson has developed a magnetic material for high frequency transformers. The new material will make them lighter, cheaper and, most importantly, more efficient than the existing ones.
Iron nitride is used for the manufacture of transformers. It is obtained by treating metal powder with liquid nitrogen and ammonia. After that, the powder is placed in an electromagnetic field, where it is concentrated and subjected to low-temperature sintering, as a result of which a light solid material is formed, from which cores for transformers are then created.
Parts created using this technology do not require further processing, and transformers with iron nitride cores are 10 times smaller than those that are used now. In addition, new transformers are air-cooled.
“Advanced magnetic materials, ” said Todd Monson, “are critical for next generation energy conversion systems that use coupled high frequency converters. They are designed for higher frequencies and temperatures, resulting in high power density devices. ”
The need for energy converters - transformers is constantly growing as the share of electricity from renewable sources - wind generators and solar panels - increases, which is especially important for remote areas.