In solar PV inverters and converters, just 1% efficiency improvement matters a lot in gaining the market advantage in power supply industry. However best you design your power electronics, the internal switching losses of power semiconductor devices such as transistor, diode is not under the design engineer's control. The best thing to increase the efficiency is to select power semiconductor devices which offer lowest voltage drop. power semiconductor manufacturers are offering non-silicon compound semiconductor based switching devices to enhance the efficiencies of electronic systems. When it comes to diodes which are basically required to convert AC to DC or DC TO AC. Recently silicon carbide (SiC) based Schottky diodes are more and more used in power electronics for the simple advantage of energy efficiency.
SiC Schottky diodes offer higher reverse breakdown voltage and withstand higher surge current irrespective of the junction temperature. They generate less heat and so consume smaller heatsinks.
SiC Schottky diodes are used in solar inverters, Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS), 3-phase SMPS (Switch Mode Power Supplies) and to drive motors in many applications.
Silicon carbide based semiconductor devices have gaining popularity in 2013 and 2014, and they are going to be sharp rise in the year 2015, and its going to be mainly diodes. By 2020, close to 50% of the power semiconductor devices are expected to be based on compound semiconductor material. It is not just silicon carbide, it may be even gallium nitride, gallium arsenide compound semiconductor devices, which also offer similar performance.