Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ryukoku University and Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd. announced today their joint development of a microwave heating system that uses 500W-output gallium nitride (GaN) amplifier modules as heat sources. The modules consume 70 percent less energy than conventional external heating systems that use fossil fuel and improve chemical-reaction productivity by three times compared to 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 thereby 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.
Respective responsibilities of the organizations included: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Production of GaN devices and Development of microwave GaN amplifier modules; Tokyo Institute of Technology, Selection of sample chemicals, and Verification of chemical-reaction productivity and fundamental evaluation for improvements; Ryukoku University, Design of microwave GaN amplifier modules and Fundamental research to improve microwave heating system efficiency; and Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd., Increasing size of testing reactor containing microwave heating system employing GaN amplifier modules as heat sources and Evaluation of energy saving outcomes.
Development was conducted under a public project, named Clean Device Promotion Project / High efficiency High Power Microwave GaN Amplifiers Realizing Energy-Saving Society, which is aimed at facilitating 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.