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The improvements proposed for SiC MOSFET power converter technology overcome existing challenges




Credits: iEnergy, Tsinghua University Press

Transistors, devices that control or amplify electrical signals and power, are one of the most popular components of modern electronic devices. The most widely used transistor is known as MOSFET, which stands for Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor. MOSFETs have been in use since the 1960s and have typically relied on silicon to function as semiconductors. The latest iterations of MOSFETs use silicon carbide, known as SiC MOSFETs, as the semiconductor. While this has many advantages, it is not widely adopted for medium voltage power conversion. This is due to some of the challenges associated with SiC MOSFETs that researchers want to solve by combining new technologies.

SiC MOSFETs have many advantages over traditional transistors. Compared to current technology, SiC MOSFETs can meet the demands of modern electronics by improving efficiency and power density. However, switching the current technology of SiC MOSFETs out of the box does not provide sufficient merit to justify the transition. To get the most out of SiC MOSFETs and expand their use in a wide range of applications, researchers have adopted new control techniques and strategies to improve the behavior of SiC MOSFETs in medium voltage applications.

This technique is described in a paper published on iEnergy on April 22nd.

“For medium voltage power conversion, 10 kV SiC MOSFETs have unique advantages such as high breakdown voltage, fast switching, high temperature operation, and low specific on-state resistance,” said the author of the ABBC volunteer researcher. Slavko Mocevic says. Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Mocevic also described many practical applications of this technology. “Applications such as electric vessels, populated urban areas, and possibly renewable energies often require high-density, high-efficiency converters for limited and expensive land and space. When used, kV SiC MOSFETs, the system has the advantages of higher efficiency, higher switching frequency, higher density, network simplification, and higher control bandwidth unlocking. “

Researchers have identified many new technologies that will help the adoption of SiC MOSFETs in medium voltage power converters. These included the addition of an enhanced gate driver, a gate driver power supply that suppresses electromagnetic interference, and a wireless power transfer converter. However, researchers have identified the most important methods of controlling switching cycle control (SCC) and integrated capacitor block transistors (ICBT). “The potential for combining the developed SCC and ICBT control techniques with 10kV SiC MOSFET devices is enormous,” said Mocevic. “These converters take full advantage of the high-speed commutation and high-speed switching speeds offered by SiC. They also significantly improve power density and efficiency and ease cooling requirements.” This technology. Other benefits of the combination include the ability to utilize both AC (AC) and DC (DC) power, low frequency operation, and unlimited voltage.

By overcoming challenges such as electromagnetic interference, high switching frequencies, fast voltage transitions, and the need for high voltage insulation, SiC MOSFET technology can be applied more widely to medium voltage converters. “The next step is to improve performance, fully understand how this converter works, and ensure stable operation in all situations for all targeted applications,” said Mocevic. Is to develop a family of medium voltage circuit networks, leveraging SCC and ICBT controls that can take full advantage of the power processing power of SiC devices, thereby helping to address the shortage of circuit solutions currently banned. Can be dealt with. ”

Two Advanced Power Management Integrated Circuits Detailed Information: Slavko Mocevic et al, 10 kV SiC MOSFET-based High Density, High Efficiency, Modular Medium Voltage Power Converter Design, iEnergy (2022). DOI: 10.23919 / IEN.2022.0001

Provided by Tsinghua University Press

Quote: The proposed improvements in SiC MOSFET power converter technology were obtained from on May 14, 2022. Overcome challenges (May 13, 2022)

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