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Interview by Easy Engineering

Discover who we are, more about our products, as well as the current state of the market and our outlook for 2024.

CINERGIA develops and commercializes regenerative power converters for the test and measurement sector. Their key areas of expertise include DSP-based digital control of converters, communications and software user interface (HMI).

The company provides a holistic service that encompasses everything from electronic design to post-sales customer support. CINERGIA deeply understands customers’ needs thanks to intensive customer relationship management. Prompt customer service is globally provided to become a well-recognized partner all over the world. 

Interview with Jorge Rivero, CEO of Cinergia.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Jorge Rivero: CINERGIA is pursuing the energy transition and the electrification of the future. Our product line has been specially designed for functional testing, quality, R&D and academic applications, since they demand more sophisticated and precise power supplies to meet evolving standards and ensure products meet stringent criteria.

All over the world, CINERGIA power supplies are used in laboratories, test fields and production lines.

Some application fields where CINERGIA units are successfully used:

  • Electromobility and on-board electrical systems

  • Smart grids

  • Laboratory power applications

  • Power Hardware in the Loop

  • Energy storage systems (ESS)

  • Photovoltaic

  • IEC Testing

  • Battery testing

  • Avionics

  • DC power

  • Academic and applied research and testing

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

J.R: First, it is important to highlight that CINERGIA is celebrating our 15th anniversary, and we wish to commemorate this milestone alongside our esteemed clients.

It is our commitment to continue to deliver the excellence and innovation that has fueled our progress, and we look forward to continuing this journey together. To do so, CINERGIA is releasing its 19” rack version converter, a cutting-edge addition to the SiC product line.

This unit condenses up to 30kW into a single, efficient 7U rack unit, allowing for a power density among the highest in the industry, and simplifying the setup and maintenance of the testing environment.

Operational features ensure user-friendly functionality, easy maintenance, and versatility, allowing the parallelization of up to 8 modules to achieve a maximum power output of 240 kW.

The convenience of this 7U rack standard means engineers can focus more on testing and less on managing bulky equipment.

The launch of this unit will open opportunities to penetrate emerging markets, particularly in End of Line Testing (EOL) customers and among systems integrators.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

J.R: Our product line has been specially designed for functional testing, quality, R&D and academic applications. These applications demand more sophisticated and precise power supplies to meet stringent and evolving criteria and standards.

CINERGIA’s product catalogue is unique for the flexibility and versatility of our units. The entirety of the catalogue is bidirectional and regenerative, and it is based on 3 main blocks: 

  • GE vAC (Grid simulator in AC): regenerative 4Q AC voltage source to control voltage, frequency and phase angle.

  • EL vAC (Electronic load in AC): regenerative 4Q AC current source to control current, power and inductance.

  • B2C DC (DC Sink/Source): regenerative 2Q/4Q DC bidirectional sink/source to control voltage, current, power or resistance. 

Each CINERGIA product includes one, two or three main functions providing high versatility. Units can be upgraded and/or expanded at any given time to include additional functionality. 

The power range of the units range from 7.5kW up to 160 kW and can be parallelized using master/slave protocol (up to 8 units) to multiply the power rating of the setup up to 1.2 MW. DC units can be set in series to reach 1500Vdc (standard standalone unit reaches 800Vdc). 

E.E: What is the state of the market where you are currently active?

J.R: The topology shared by all our devices is a bidirectional Back-to-Back power converter; thanks to that, CINERGIA stands out as a major player in the regenerative converter market, emphasizing strategic market differentiation and a customized approach to sustain a robust and continuously growing business.

Regenerative power supplies exhibit the capability of both source and sink operations, contributing significantly to the overall efficiency of power systems.

The regenerative converter market has experienced noteworthy expansion in recent years and is anticipated to maintain this upward trajectory with a 10% growth rate. 

In previous years, CINERGIA served mostly R&D and validation applications, whereas currently, the company’s major markets are strategically divided into: 

  • Electric Vehicles (EV): As the world transitions towards more sustainable transportation solutions to combat climate change and reduce reliance on fossil fuels, electromobility has emerged as a key focus area for many governments, industries, and consumers. 

Advances in the field of electromobility are mainly linked to the development of battery technology and power electronics for charging, discharging and driving electrical motors.

Additionally, series production of EV requires an increased number of equipment to perform EOL tests to ensure quality during the manufacturing process.

  • Power Hardware in the Loop (PHIL)/Smart grids: Significant growth in this area is expected due to the increasing demand for renewable energy integration, the rising complexity of power systems and standard compliance.

  • Renewable Energies: They are the key for a safer and cleaner future, and governments are continuing to push investment into clean energy amid the global energy crisis to become carbon neutral by 2050.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

J.R: Undoubtedly, the Electric Vehicle (EV) market stands out as a leading product trend in the regenerative power converter field. This is primarily due to the significant surge in demand for designing and testing battery packs, both off-board and onboard chargers, and solutions related to Vehicle to Grid (V2G) and Vehicle to Home (V2H).

Another noteworthy product trend involves the development of more space efficient products, which take the form of rackable units. This development renders them more versatile and applicable across a broader spectrum of applications within the industry field.

Moreover, regenerative power converters are expanding their applications in smart grids and microgrid systems. By incorporating regenerative capabilities, these systems can better manage fluctuations in energy supply and demand, leading to a more stable and reliable power distribution network.

Lastly, it is crucial to highlight the significant innovations in Power Hardware in the Loop (PHIL). These advancements enhance testing processes for greater reliability and efficiency in power systems. PHIL’s versatility allows testing of a broader range of characteristics with increased efficiency and streamlined setup. Its widespread adoption across aerospace, electromobility, microgrids, and transportation underscores its pivotal role in advancing testing methodologies.

E.E: What are the most innovative products/services marketed?

J.R: CINERGIA is committed to continuous improvement, efficiency, and regenerative technology. The drive for innovation has elevated the reliability, compatibility, and user-friendliness of our units to new heights.

The following products from our product range are the most innovative ones from our point of view:

GE&EL+ vAC/DC SiC: the most complete and versatile converter in the regenerative energy testing market. The whole CINERGIA catalogue in a single unit: A Grid Emulator (GE), an Electronic Load (EL) and a DC Bidirectional (B2C).

Its features at a glance:

  • Higher switching frequency: Thanks to the SiC MOSFETs in the equipment, the switch is increased up to 60 kHz.

  • Bandwidth: A higher bandwidth of the converter translates into a better capacity to control fast-changing and high-frequency signals. Large signal bandwidth reaches 1kHz and the small signal bandwidth allows generation of harmonics up to the 50th with greater accuracy.

  • Ripple: The increase of the switching frequency is high enough to significantly improve the current and voltage ripple (3 and 2.75 times respectively).

  • Efficiency: the peak efficiency of the whole system is boosted above 94%.

19” rack version converter: the most complete and versatile converter, now in a 19” rack format, for easier integration in testing platforms and EOL. It also includes SiC MOSFETs that allow for higher performance and all the GE, EL and B2C functions.

E.E: What estimations do you have for the beginning of 2024?

J.R: For 2024 our strategic focus is set to make a significant impact, emphasizing the research and development of new products and reinforcing customer service as our key strengths. We’re expanding into new markets through strategic partnerships, exemplified by strengthened production capabilities and an empowered sales team, driving consistent sales through successful collaborations and new distribution agreements in strategic areas within Europe and Asia.

We anticipate achieving double-digit growth this year, aligning with our commitment to a more robust expansion in the following years through new product development and geographical expansion. Our overarching objective for the next three years is to more than double this year’s turnover. Notably, the imminent launch of our new 19” rack product is expected to provide a substantial boost, improving market penetration and establishing a strong foundation for sustained growth in the years ahead.

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