Integrated Electronics, a division of American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC), Westborough, Mass., recently released its first commercial power converter product, which uses state-of-the-art power electronics to control and condition electric power. The PowerModule uses several proprietary features the company believes can create the standard for the power-conversion industry.

Power converters are key components in many electric-power applications, including micro-turbines and fuel cells for distributed generation of power, superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) for power quality and reliability, variable-speed drives for electric motors, drive trains for electric vehicles, wind- and solar-power generators, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).

"PowerModules are like building blocks that can be stacked and integrated to handle kilowatts to megawatts of power in a wide range of end-user applications," says Greg Yurek, chief executive officer of American Superconductor. "The proprietary printed circuit board design and full programmability of the PowerModule provide a level of flexibility in configuration, installation, and use that we believe will make the PowerModule the undisputed standard for power converters."

If the market develops as expected, Yurek believes revenues from this business will exceed $100 million within three years. According to industry analysts, the global addressable market for power converters with power ratings over 60kW currently exceeds $1 billion annually.