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High Temperature Silicon Carbide Power Modules for High Performance Systems
Keywords: Silicon Carbide, Power Electronics, Modules
The requirements of modern high-performance power electronics systems are quickly surpassing the power density, efficiency, and reliability limitations set by the inherent properties of silicon-based power devices. The advantages of silicon carbide (SiC) are well known, including high temperature operation, high voltage blocking capability, high speed switching, and high energy efficiency. In this paper, APEI, Inc. will present two newly developed high performance SiC power modules for extreme environment systems and applications. These new power modules are rated to 1200V, are operational to greater than 100A, can perform at temperatures in excess of 250 °C, and can be constructed with SiC MOSFETs, JFETs, or BJTs. The modules target various power electronics systems, which the authors will discuss in detail. One newly developed module is designed for high performance, ultra-high reliability systems such as aircraft and spacecraft, and implements a novel hermetically sealed package with proprietary ring seal technology capable of sustaining temperatures in excess of 400 °C. The other newly developed module is designed for high performance commercial and industrial systems such as hybrid electric vehicles or renewable energy applications, implements a novel ultra-low parasitic packaging approach that enables high switching frequencies in excess of 100 kHz, and weighs in at just over 100 grams (offering 5× mass reduction and 3× size reduction in comparison with industry standard power brick packaging technology). APEI, Inc. will present testing results of these modules in actual system applications, including: (a) a 3-phase inverter performing at ~ 98.5% efficiency with an order of magnitude size reduction (comparison to a commercial silicon inverter), and (b) a vehicle motor drive system.
Jared Hornberger, Engineer
APEI, Inc.
Fayetteville, AR

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