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26 January 2016

Japanese project develops microwave heating system using GaN amplifier module heaters

Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ryukoku University and Microwave Chemical Co Ltd have jointly developed a microwave heating system that uses 500W-output gallium nitride (GaN) amplifier modules as heat sources.

The modules consume 70% less energy than conventional external heating systems that use fossil fuel and improve chemical-reaction productivity three-fold compared with dispersed heating systems. Practical uses will now be developed for high-level energy saving in the chemical industry.

Whereas external heating systems consume high amounts of energy because they need to heat both the equipment and the chemicals inside, the new internal heating system saves energy consumption by heating the chemicals only. In addition, the system adopts a new method that controls the microwave phases generated by the modules and hence manages temperature distribution, leading to greater productivity in chemical reaction.

GaN devices offer more power density and power efficiency than silicon (Si) or gallium arsenide (GaAs) devices. GaN amplifier modules are expected to help reduce the size of communication equipment, radars and other equipment for general industry.

Mitsubishi Electric is responsible for production of the GaN devices and development of the microwave GaN amplifier modules.

Tokyo Institute of Technology is responsible for selection of the sample chemicals, the verification of chemical-reaction productivity and fundamental evaluation for improvements, and standardization.

Ryukoku University is responsible for designing the microwave GaN amplifier modules and fundamental research to improve microwave heating system efficiency.

Microwave Chemical is responsible for increasing the size of the testing reactor containing the microwave heating system employing GaN amplifier modules as heat sources, and for evaluation of energy-saving outcomes.

Development was conducted under the Clean Device Promotion Project 'High efficiency High Power Microwave GaN Amplifiers Realizing Energy-Saving Society', which aims to facilitate novel applications of innovative electronic devices through demonstration and standardization. The project was commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), an independent administrative agency of Japan.

Tags: GaN power amplifier Mitsubishi Electric

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