What is the Role of Semiconductors in Clean Energy Integration?

Semiconductor devices are gradually replacing their old counterparts owing to higher electric field strength and low switching losses in renewable energy integration.

FREMONT, CA: Clean energy in use requires modern technologies to harness, convert, transfer, and store renewable energy as electricity and move it onto the electric grid. Semiconductors are materials that enable these technologies. With several countries racing to build reliable and long-term sustainable energy alternatives to curb emissions, renewable installations have recorded unparalleled growth over the past decade. Semiconductor manufacturers believe that semiconductors hold the key to addressing the primary hurdles of renewable energy integration. Here is why.

Semiconductors’ power for allowing electricity to pass through them at a modulated rate enables them to convert energy harnesses by other renewable energy technologies including, wind turbines and hydropower. Here, semiconductors act as efficient rectifiers, smoothing the electric current harnesses from renewable sources to be transformed to an electrical grid with minimal loss of electric energy in the process. Semiconductors also have a significant role in ensuring that renewable energy sources are harvesting power optimally. For this, semiconductors are installed in secondary devices such as sensors in solar panels, drives, and pumps in wind and water turbines, and protection circuits in energy conversions to ensure that entire operations run smoothly and efficiently with minimal loss of power.

Semiconductor materials such as silicon have the ability to reside millions of microscopic transistors. This can enable advancements, such as industrial and home automation. This can ultimately allow the electric grid to link up devices throughout the system for ensuring that supply is matched to demand and energy is well distributed. Smart energy grids equipped with semiconductor material parts are also able to charge electric vehicles. Automation helps end-user applications to reduce their energy demands, thereby contributing to a sustainable, energy-efficient, and clean-energy future. According to Vox's reports, extensive semiconductor manufacturing facilities are using up to 100-megawatt hours of energy per hour, accounting for 5% to 30% of their total operating costs and using semiconductor materials can even this energy demand, by monitoring and automating semiconductor fabrication in semiconductor manufacturing. In this way, too, the role of semiconductors in clean and sustainable energy is laced throughout the energy equation.

Rapid integration of renewables with power grids in developed and the need to lead to an energy-efficient future is underscoring the growth potential semiconductor devices. This points out to the fact that consistent efforts to boost green energy production will create a favorable business outlook for semiconductor device manufacturers.

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