Fig. 3: The latest SiC Schottky diodes from Cree are rated for 50A and 1700V blocking voltage, providing superior rectification in power electronics systems. www.electronics-eetimes.com power. precision. excellence. Highly-integrated SCALE-2® ASIC chipset IGBT driver with plug-and-play functionality Advanced Active Clamping (A2C) driven by prime performance www.IGBT-Driver.com Visit us at PCIM! Booth No.9-229 10-microsecond pulse. This high surge capability will contribute to increased reliability in the systems that incorporate SiC components. For example, the susceptibility of the boost converter to damage from high inrush current would be greatly reduced if the silicon PiN boost diode were to be replaced with a SiC Schottky diode. Another advantage realized by substituting SiC Schottky diodes is that, unlike silicon devices which experience significant switching performance degradation with a rise in temperature, the switching characteristics of SiC Schottky diodes are virtually unchanged at elevated temperatures. Consequently, as the operating temperature of the charger or inverter increases, the switching efficiency of silicon diodes decreases, but the switching efficiency of SiC diodes remains unchanged. SiC as a material also has inherently higher thermal conductivity, meaning that smaller heatsinks are required, and in many cases, secondary cooling technologies such as fans can be eliminated from the design. Since vehicle charging systems are subject to high operating and ambient temperatures, this makes SiC devices a better choice. Finally, SiC power devices are capable of much higher power density than silicon devices. This feature includes the potential to save significant space and weight by reducing component count, size, and circuit complexity, and improving the thermal management of the overall system, as noted above. Ultimately, these performance improvements, in combination with the space and weight reduction in the power electronics systems, enable automotive designers to provide better efficiency, eliminate auxiliary cooling systems, and deliver increased battery range for their electric vehicles. By reducing circuit complexity and thermal management requirements and enabling higher power density and more efficient operation, SiC power has the potential to drive the performance of electric vehicle systems to new levels. Fig. 4: Forward surge current resistance of Cree’s 1200V Schottky diode versus surge pulse time, showing the impact of the Merged PiN Structure on surge resistance.
EETE MAY 2014
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