High-Speed High-Temperature Silicon Carbide Motor Drive Inverter for Hybrid Vehicles
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161 First Street, Cambridge, MA, 02142
AbstractSilicon carbide has long held the promise of founding a new generation of higher-density power electronics and its beneficial characteristics of higher temperature and higher frequency operation have been demonstrated. The question of how to package andapply SiC devices to take best advantage of these beneficial characteristics is largely unanswered. With the recent availability of prototype power devices, however, it is now possible to build a practical power-electronics circuit using SiC devices andexplore its operational bounds in an attempt to provide these answers. A hybrid-electric vehicle motor drive, which potentially has widespread future use in both military and commercial vehicles, has been identified as a suitable application for thisresearch. The construction and evaluation of a SiC based inverter driving a hybrid-vehicle induction motor is proposed.A significant increase in power density of power electronics would be of great benefit in reducing size and cost. Power-densityimprovement is presently limited by silicon device operating temperature and heat removal technology, both of which are receiving research attention. Silicon carbide with its higher operating temperature offers the hope for a step increase in powerdensity. This project will be one of the first efforts to bring silicon carbide out of the research laboratory and into a practical realm and will benefit others in industry seeking higher power density or extended temperature range operation.
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