New IGBT drive unit boosts the efficiency of inverters up to 400-kW

November 27, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
SEMIKRON’s new drive unit SKYPER 42 LJ combines the benefits of digital signal consistency while maintaining full functionality.

To increase the efficiency of inverters up to 400 kW, circuit topologies have been developed that are optimized for specific applications.  However, interleaved, multilevel and parallel circuits that improve IGBT efficiency also place higher requirements on signal performance.

The SKYPER 42 LJ is a dual-channel IGBT driver unit for 600 V, 1,200 V and 1,700 V IGBT modules. The unit reliably controls IGBT modules up to 1,000 Amperes with an output current of 80 mA with a maximum switching frequency of 100 kHz. The highly integrated SEMIKRON ASICs and an optimum power supply concept guarantee extreme signal precision with a maximum jitter of just +/- 1.5ns across the entire temperature range. In combination with the low tolerances of the SEMIKRON ASICs the SKYPER 42 LJ achieves runtime differences below 20 nanoseconds. Due to the adjustable short impulse suppression and stabilized gate voltages empower an uncompromising parallel IGBT control.

Despite its high performance, the SKYPER 42 LJ offers maximum security. SoftOff and overvoltage recognition securely switch off any current. The separate transfer of switching and error signals allows for rapid error feedback, even in 3-level applications. Thanks to the adjustable error management, both the integrated protection circuit and the paramount controller are able to quickly respond to system errors. The isolated information transfer uses square wave signals, which makes at significantly more robust than traditional inductive transfer. This way, the driver unit safely switches interfering voltages up to 4 kV on the signal wires. The SKYPER 42 LJ can run external circuits for excess temperature or excess voltage without a separate power supply, so the error signal can be transmitted to the control unit separately.  

With its MTBF Rate (Mean Time Between Failures pursuant to SN29500) of six million hours under full load, the driver unit will safely outlive any industrial lifecycle.