SiC power modules cut inverter power losses by 50%

October 13, 2014 // By Paul Buckley
Cree has expanded the company's silicon carbide (SiC) 1.2 kV six-pack power module family with a 20 A all-SiC module ideally suited for 5-15 kW three-phase applications.

Based on Cree’s C2M SiC MOSFET and Z-Rec SiC Schottky diode technology, the six-pack module enables designers to exceed the traditional constraints of power density, efficiency, and cost associated with Si-based inverters used in industrial power conversion systems.

Cummins, Inc., a global power leader in electrical power generation systems, has tested and confirmed the capabilities of Cree’s all-SiC 1.2 kV six-pack power module family in their inverter platform.  

"Cree’s 1.2kV all-SiC six-pack module family will allow us to increase the power rating of our inverter by 40% while reducing power losses by 50%, to increase efficiency by 5%," said Brad Palmer, power electronics product line architect, Cummins, Inc. "This new power module is a significant technological advancement, capable of outperforming Si IGBT modules with four times the current rating."

The all-SiC 1.2 kV, 20A six-pack claims to feature 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. When compared to similar Si IGBT modules, the Cree 20A six-pack module operates at a much lower junction temperature allowing designers to aggressively adopt new parameters in high frequency and power density without compromising on efficiency.

Cree’s all-SiC 1.2 kV, 20A six-pack power module (CCS020M12CM2) and companion gate driver evaluation board (CGD15FB45P); more;