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  Date: 14/10/2014

SiC FETs for your 5-10KW range solar inverter design

It is high time for power electronics engineers to replace IGBT with silicon carbide (SiC) power transistors/FETs in their inverter design. SiC transistors not only reduce the switching losses but also conduction losses. For the same size of switching device you can increase the power capability of your inverter up to 40% or even more and also increase the conversion efficiency.

SiC Devices offer kind of Moore's Law advantage in power electronics design, but except the cost. Silicon carbide MOSFETs offer as much as 90% lesser switching loss compared to silicon MOSFETs. Due to their ability to work at higher frequency and to produce less heat, the total cost of magnetics and heat dissipation mechanism comes down. Though the cost of SiC MOSFETs are falling, it takes some more time for the cost of these devices to reach a range close to present IGBT cost. Another highlighting factor is, variations in the parameters such as switching losses of the transistors with temperature is lesser in SiC compared to silicon.

Below we provide you some of the recently launched and popular SiC transistors/MOSFETs/modules for your power electronics designs:

Rohm semiconductor is offering 1200V SiC MOSFETs. SCT2080KE and SCH2080KE are integrated with SiC Schottky barrier diode. With a drain current rating of 40 A, and total power dissipation capability of 262 watts, SCH2080KE offers on resistance of 80 milli ohms.
Learn more about Rohm's SiC components at http://www.rohm.com/web/global/sic-mosfet

Infineon CoolSiC 1200V SiC JFET integrating SiC Schottky barrier diode, and a driver IC is suggested for solar PV inverters. They are designed to operate in the current rating of 26 to 35 A with RDS on of 0.07 ohms with the power handling capability up to 238 watts.
For more details visit:

Cree is offering 1200 V, six-pack power module family with a new 20 Ampere, all-SiC module especially for 5–15-kW, three-phase power inverter applications. Cree says the new SiC module features the industry’s lowest switching losses due to the zero turn-off tail current in the MOSFET and the zero reverse-recovery current in the Schottky diode.
More info on this device at www.cree.com/Power/Products/SiC-Power-Modules/SiC-Modules/CCS020M12CM2

SCT30N120, from STMicroelectronics is a 1200 V Silicon carbide Power MOSFET with Drain current rating of 45 A with 80 milli ohms on resistance. Get to know more on this at:

Are you really looking for very high current SiC module, then have a look at Mitsubishi Electric's 1200V SiC module with the current rating of 800 A. Mitsubishi has launched this module in year 2012. To know more on this visit http://www.mitsubishielectric.com/news/2012/0709.html

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