The University of Tennessee Research Foundation held its annual “Innovation Awards” celebration event and recognition ceremony on Tuesday, April 5. UTRF recognized the University’s researchers and their start-ups, technologies and patents.
UTRF recognized the teams whose technologies led to licenses recently, which included Associate Professor Kevin Bai and graduate student Liyan Zhu. They were awarded with a plaque for their 2020 patent for a “High-Efficiency Integrated On-Board Charger and Auxiliary Power Module for EV.” This patent was just licensed to research sponsor Hella Engineering Center in Michigan.
The patent covers a novel control strategy which allows the flow of electricity among the AC power grid, high-voltage batteries and low-voltage batteries, freely and in multiple directions.
This technology is used in electric vehicles that have both an on-board charger and an auxiliary power module. It can allow an EV to achieve vehicle-to-grid function, where the vehicle provides power from its on-board battery back to the power grid. This can help support the grid in instances of blackouts. If an EV has a depleted high-voltage battery, the technology can also enable a lower-voltage battery in that EV to deliver at least some power to the higher-voltage battery in order to drive the vehicle.
During the celebration event, UTRF also recognized more than one hundred individuals who shared forty-four recently issued patents. Professor and Condra Chair of Excellence in Power Electronics Fei (Fred) Wang topped the list of honorees by being named on six of the forty-four. Associate Professor Daniel Costinett earned first runner-up with four patents each.