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Semikron takes a majority stake in Compact Dynamics

07 June, 2010

The power semiconductor specialist Semikron International is taking a majority stake in the German drives developer Compact Dynamics, thus increasing its involvement in powertrain systems for hybrid and electric vehicles and expanding its activities to include motors. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Compact Dynamics, founded ten years ago, specialises in innovative electric drive systems, particularly for automotive applications, including high-power electric drives for motor sport applications. Its portfolio includes axial flux motors, short-stroke actuators, and linear motors, with integrated power electronics and controls. Last year, it achieved a turnover of around €3.8m and employed more than 50 people at its base in Starnberg, Bavaria.

Semikron says its aim in taking control at Compact Dynamics is to develop innovative, lightweight and efficient systems to meet the growing demand for compact vehicle drive systems with state-of-the-art power electronic and control systems. It is targeting the hybrid and electric-only vehicle market, including cars, buses, off-road vehicles and forklift trucks.

“We complement each other perfectly,” says Semikron CEO, Dirk Heidenreich (above). “Both our companies have long-ranging experience in power electronic systems and are very innovative.”

Semikron, a family-owned German business founded in 1951, employs 2,900 people worldwide, and has production plants in China, Korea, India, South Africa, Brazil, the US, Italy, France, Slovakia and Germany. Its integrated power electronic systems span applications from 1kW into the Megawatt range. It claims to be the market leader in diode/thyristor semiconductor modules, with 37% of the global market.

It has been particularly successful in the wind power market. According to one survey, it provided the power semiconductors for 57GW of the 122GW of wind turbine capacity installed globally up to 2009.

In 2009, Semikron formed a 50/50 joint venture with Magna Electronics to develop and produce inverters and chargers for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Compact Dynamic’s Dynax axial flux motors (above) are based on synchronous torque motors and are claimed to operate with an efficiency of 85–95%, even at high speeds. The 210mm-diamater permanent magnet motors weighing 10kg, are rated at 30kW and can deliver 110Nm of torque. Gearmotor versions are available.

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