Little Box Challenge

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by mbmoser, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. mbmoser

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    I'm a recent graduate in electrical engineering but I don't know very much about power inverters (as far as topology and general operation of the circuit goes). And was just curious if anyone that knows more about inverters could share their thoughts on googles little box challenge ( ). Or even better if there's anyone out there that's working on the challenge? This is just to satisfy my curiosity mostly, and I apologize if there is a similar thread somewhere, I just didn't see one.
  2. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    I'm sure the folks making inverters are always striving for higher efficiency, which is what I think is the limiting factor. If you want 50W to pass thru a on cubic inch little box, then losses of say 10% result in 5W appearing in the box. Those watts have to be dissipated to ambient. Commercial inverters have fans and heat sinks to carry heat away by conduction and convection.

    If you could operate an inverter at really high temperature, you could dissipate more heat with less hardware, and maybe even get dissipation by radiation. I have no idea how you could operate at such temperatures.

    The only other approach is to reduce losses so that the heat never gets generated. This would be great, but it's why you need a million dollar incentive. It ain't gonna be easy. Superconductors might help.