A new concept in power conversion, based on electromechanical energy storage, is developed. Mechanical energy storage using Silicon offers a 2 order of magnitude improvement in volumetric energy storage density over conventional approaches using magnetic components.
Two broad classes of electromechanical power converter topologies are introduced and analyzed: resonant and boost. Both are shown to scale well to smaller electromechanical device dimensions.
A novel self-aligned micromachined polysilicon on nitride (SAMPSON) process flow was developed to fabricate umechanical devices suitable for the boost conversion function. The process utility includes simplified fabrication of conventional surface micromachined resonators.
Calculations showed that well-designed boost converters can achieve step-up factors in excess of 10 while using only a single umechanical device. Boost converter tests utilizing discrete devices and the fabricated pmechanical elements demonstrated a step-up factor of 1.7. Measurements conducted on representative test devices indicate that power densities an order of magnitude higher than those in conventional power converters are attainable.