£11m investment in UK power research centre
The £1.8m centre is part of a three-year programme which is creating up to 40 skilled engineering jobs in partnership with Chinese company Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric – the majority shareholder of Canadian parent Dynex Power Inc.
“Our major investment programme started in May 2010, when we announced the start of the R&D project to expand that team, by forming a joint operation with CSR,” said Dynex’s President and Chief Executive Officer Dr Paul Taylor. “At that time there were 12 R&D people at Lincoln. Since then we have expanded to employ 32. We are still recruiting, with the aim of having 50 engineers working in the new building.”
Dynex designs and makes high power bipolar semiconductors, insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) modules and electronic assemblies. The business was originally founded in 1956 and the site has previously been part of AEI Semiconductors, Marconi Electronic Devices Ltd (MEDL) and GEC-Plessey Semiconductors (GPS). Zhuzhou CSR Times Electric acquired 75% of Dynex Power in 2008.
“The power semiconductor device is at the very heart of all modern power electronic systems. Whether wind, solar, tidal, wave, coal, gas or nuclear energy, we need safe, smart and reliable interconnection to the electric grid and safe, smart and reliable power transmission and power quality,” he said. “Whether for driving motors and power equipment for cars, locomotives, metros and manufacturing, for powering our communications, aircraft, keeping the lights on or for keeping us warm in winter and cool in the summer, the power device is the workhorse that enables the control of electric energy to drive these sectors and more.”
The RDC has already produced trial samples for CSR Times Electric for its Chinese locomotive and metro applications. The same product is expected to later become a key component in power conversion applications for electric grid use. “There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a power electronics revolution and that Dynex and CSR Times Electric are well-placed to deliver the advanced innovative power products fuelling this revolution and to deliver the future developments in advanced semiconductor components that will be required,” said Taylor.