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Extreme Implementations of Wide-Bandgap Semiconductors in Power Electronics
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Electric power and energy systems.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductor materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium-nitride (GaN) allow higher voltage ratings, lower on-state voltage drops, higher switching frequencies, and higher maximum temperatures. All these advantages make them an attractive choice when high-power density and high-efficiency converters are targeted. Two different gate-driver designs for SiC power devices are presented. First, a dual-function gate-driver for a power module populated with SiC junction field-effect transistors that finds a trade-off between fast switching speeds and a low oscillative performance has been presented and experimentally verified. Second, a gate-driver for SiC metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors with a short-circuit protection scheme that is able to protect the converter against short-circuit conditions without compromising the switching performance during normal operation is presented and experimentally validated. The benefits and issues of using parallel-connection as the design strategy for high-efficiency and high-power converters have been presented. In order to evaluate parallel connection, a 312 kVA three-phase SiC inverter with an efficiency of 99.3 % has been designed, built, and experimentally verified. If parallel connection is chosen as design direction, an undesired trade-off between reliability and efficiency is introduced. A reliability analysis has been performed, which has shown that the gate-source voltage stress determines the reliability of the entire system. Decreasing the positive gate-source voltage could increase the reliability without significantly affecting the efficiency. If high-temperature applications are considered, relatively little attention has been paid to passive components for harsh environments. This thesis also addresses high-temperature operation. The high-temperature performance of two different designs of inductors have been tested up to 600_C. Finally, a GaN power field-effect transistor was characterized down to cryogenic temperatures. An 85 % reduction of the on-state resistance was measured at −195_C. Finally, an experimental evaluation of a 1 kW singlephase inverter at low temperatures was performed. A 33 % reduction in losses compared to room temperature was achieved at rated power.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 101 p.
Series
TRITA-EE, ISSN 1653-5146 ; 2016:145
Keyword [en]
Cryogenic, Gallium Nitride, Gate Driver, Harsh Environments, High Efficiency Converter, High Temperature, MOSFETs, Normally- ON JFETs, Reliability, Silicon Carbide, Wide-Band Gap Semiconductors
National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
Electrical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192626ISBN: 978-91-7729-109-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-192626DiVA: diva2:971372
Public defence
2016-10-14, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH-huset, KTH, Stockholm, 09:53 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160922

Available from: 2016-09-22 Created: 2016-09-16 Last updated: 2016-09-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Dual-Function Gate Driver for a Power Module With SiC Junction Field-Effect Transistors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dual-Function Gate Driver for a Power Module With SiC Junction Field-Effect Transistors
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2014 (English)In: IEEE transactions on power electronics, ISSN 0885-8993, E-ISSN 1941-0107, Vol. 29, no 5, 2367-2379 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Silicon Carbide high-power modules populated with several parallel-connected junction field-effect transistors must be driven properly. Parasitic elements could act as drawbacks in order to achieve fast and oscillation-free switching performance, which are the main goals. These two requirements are related closely to the design of the gate-drive unit, and they must be kept under certain limits when high efficiencies are targeted. This paper deeply investigates several versions of gate-drive units and proposes a dual-function gate-drive unit which is able to switch the module with an acceptable speed without letting the current suffer from significant oscillations. It is experimentally shown that turn-on and turn-off switching times of approximately 130 and 185 ns respectively can be reached, while the magnitude of the current oscillations is kept at an adequate level. Moreover, using the proposed gate driver an efficiency of approximately 99.7% is expected for a three-phase converter rated at 125 kVA and having a switching frequency of 2 kHz.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2014
Keyword
Gate driver, junction field effect transistor, power module, silicone carbide
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
SRA - Energy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-141276 (URN)10.1109/TPEL.2013.2277616 (DOI)000329991500024 ()2-s2.0-84893083630 (ScopusID)
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20140213

Available from: 2014-02-13 Created: 2014-02-13 Last updated: 2016-09-16Bibliographically approved
2. Dual-function gate driver for a power module with SiC junction field transistors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dual-function gate driver for a power module with SiC junction field transistors
2013 (English)In: 2013 IEEE ECCE Asia Downunder - 5th IEEE Annual International Energy Conversion Congress and Exhibition, IEEE ECCE Asia 2013, IEEE , 2013, 245-250 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Driving a high-power module which is populated with several parallel-connected silicon carbide junction field-effect transistor chips must be done appropriately. Parasitic elements may give rise to oscillations during turn-on and turn-off. Fast and oscillation-free switching performance is desired in order to achieve a high efficiency. The key-issue in order to fulfill these two requirements is the design of a sophisticated gate driver. This paper proposes a dual-function gate-drive unit which is able to switch the module with an acceptable speed without letting the current and voltage suffer from significant oscillations. It is experimentally shown that turn-on and turn-off switching times of approximately 140 ns and 165 ns respectively can be reached, while the magnitude of the current oscillations is kept at an acceptable level. Moreover, using the proposed gate driver an efficiency of approximately 99.6% is expected for a three-phase converter rated at 125 kVA and having a switching frequency of 2 kHz.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2013
Keyword
Gate Driver, Junction Field Effect Transistor, Power Module, Silicone Carbide
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
SRA - Energy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-133369 (URN)10.1109/ECCE-Asia.2013.6579104 (DOI)000332789100040 ()2-s2.0-84883717322 (ScopusID)978-147990482-2 (ISBN)
Conference
2013 IEEE ECCE Asia Downunder - 5th IEEE Annual International Energy Conversion Congress and Exhibition, IEEE ECCE Asia 2013; Melbourne, VIC; Australia; 3 June 2013 through 6 June 2013
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20131105

Available from: 2013-11-05 Created: 2013-10-31 Last updated: 2016-09-16Bibliographically approved
3. Switching Performance of Parallel-Connected Power Modules with SiC MOSFETs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Switching Performance of Parallel-Connected Power Modules with SiC MOSFETs
2014 (English)In: 2014 International Power Electronics Conference, IPEC-Hiroshima - ECCE Asia 2014, IEEE conference proceedings, 2014, 3712-3717 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Parallel connection of silicon carbide power modules is a possible solution in order to reach higher current ratings. Nevertheless, it must be done appropriately to ensure a feasible operation of the parallel-connected power modules. High switching speeds are desired in order to achieve high efficiencies in medium and high-power applications but parasitic elements may give rise to a non-uniform current sharing during turn-on and turn-off, leading to non-uniformly distributed switching losses. This paper presents the switching performance of parallel-connected power modules populated with several silicon carbide metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect-transistors chips. It is experimentally shown that turn-on and turn-off switching times of approximately 50 ns and 100 ns, respectively, can be reached, while an acceptably uniform transient current sharing is obtained. Moreover, based on the obtained results, an efficiency of approximately 99.35% for a three-phase converter rated at 312 kVA with a switching frequency of 20 kHz can be estimated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE conference proceedings, 2014
Series
, International Conference on Power Electronics, ISSN 2150-6078
Keyword
Silicone Carbide, Gate Driver, Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect-Transistors, Power Module
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
SRA - Energy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-159409 (URN)10.1109/IPEC.2014.6870032 (DOI)000347109203099 ()2-s2.0-84906691270 (ScopusID)978-1-4799-2705-0 (ISBN)
Conference
7th International Power Electronics Conference, IPEC-Hiroshima - ECCE Asia 2014, Hiroshima, Japan, 18 May 2014 through 21 May 2014
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20150129

Available from: 2015-01-29 Created: 2015-01-29 Last updated: 2016-09-16Bibliographically approved
4. High-efficiency three-phase inverter with SiC MOSFET power modules for motor-drive applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>High-efficiency three-phase inverter with SiC MOSFET power modules for motor-drive applications
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2014 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the design process of a 312 kVA three-phase silicon carbide inverter using ten parallel-connected metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect-transistor power modules in each phase-leg. The design processes of the gate-drive circuits with short-circuit protection and the power circuit layout are also presented. Electrical measurements in order to evaluate the performance of the gate-drive circuits have been performed using a double-pulse setup. Experimental results showing the electrical performance during steady-state operation of the power converter are also shown. Taking into account measured data, an efficiency of approximately 99.3% at the rated power has been estimated for the inverter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE conference proceedings, 2014
Keyword
AC motors, Digital storage, Electric drives, Electric power systems, Electron beam lithography, Field effect transistors, Metals, MOS devices, MOSFET devices, Semiconducting silicon, Silicon carbide, Electrical measurement, Electrical performance, Gate drive circuits, Motor drive applications, Parallel-connected, Short-circuit protection, Steady-state operation, Three-phase inverter, Electric inverters
National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
SRA - Energy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-174817 (URN)10.1109/ECCE.2014.6953431 (DOI)2-s2.0-84934312282 (ScopusID)9781479956982 (ISBN)
Conference
2014 IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition, ECCE 2014
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20151211

Available from: 2015-12-11 Created: 2015-10-07 Last updated: 2016-09-16Bibliographically approved
5. High-Efficiency 312-kVA Three-Phase Inverter Using Parallel Connection of Silicon Carbide MOSFET Power Modules
Open this publication in new window or tab >>High-Efficiency 312-kVA Three-Phase Inverter Using Parallel Connection of Silicon Carbide MOSFET Power Modules
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2015 (English)In: IEEE transactions on industry applications, ISSN 0093-9994, E-ISSN 1939-9367, Vol. 51, no 6, 4664-4676 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the design process of a 312-kVA three-phase silicon carbide inverter using ten parallel-connected metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect-transistor power modules in each phase leg. The design processes of the gate-drive circuits with short-circuit protection and power circuit layout are also presented. Measurements in order to evaluate the performance of the gate-drive circuits have been performed using a double-pulse setup. Moreover, electrical and thermal measurements in order to evaluate the transient performance and steady-state operation of the parallel-connected power modules are shown. Experimental results showing proper steady-state operation of the power converter are also presented. Taking into account measured data, an efficiency of approximately 99.3% at the rated power has been measured for the inverter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2015
Keyword
Inverter, metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), parallel connection, power module, silicon carbide (SiC)
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject
SRA - Energy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-180146 (URN)10.1109/TIA.2015.2456422 (DOI)000365415700033 ()2-s2.0-84957922544 (ScopusID)
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20160113

Available from: 2016-01-13 Created: 2016-01-07 Last updated: 2016-09-16Bibliographically approved
6. Reliability analysis of a high-efficiency SiC three-phase inverter for motor drive applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reliability analysis of a high-efficiency SiC three-phase inverter for motor drive applications
2016 (English)In: 2016 IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC), IEEE , 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Silicon Carbide as an emerging technology offers potential benefits compared to the currently used Silicon. One of these advantages is higher efficiency. If this is targeted, reducing the on-state losses is a possibility to achieve it. Parallel-connecting devices decrease the on-state resistance and therefore reducing the losses. Furthermore, increasing the amount of components introduces an undesired tradeoff between efficiency and reliability. A reliability analysis has been performed on a three-phase inverter for motor drive applications rated at 312 kVA. This analysis has shown that the gate voltage stress determines the reliability of the complete system. Nevertheless, decreasing the positive gate-source voltage could increase the reliability of the system approximately 8 times without affecting the efficiency significantly. Moreover, adding redundancy in the system could also increase the mean time to failure approximately 5 times.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2016
National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192622 (URN)10.1109/APEC.2016.7467955 (DOI)2-s2.0-84973614823 (ScopusID)978-1-4673-9550-2 (ISBN)
Conference
2016 IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC)
Note

QC 20160921

Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-09-16 Last updated: 2016-09-21Bibliographically approved
7. Reliability Analysis of a High-Efficiency SiC Three-Phase Inverter
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reliability Analysis of a High-Efficiency SiC Three-Phase Inverter
2016 (English)In: IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics, ISSN 2168-6777, E-ISSN 2168-6785, Vol. 4, no 3, 996-1006 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Silicon carbide as an emerging technology offers potential benefits compared with the currently used silicon. One of these advantages is higher efficiency. If this is targeted, reducing the on-state losses is a possibility to achieve it. Parallel-connecting devices decrease the on-state resistance and therefore reduce the losses. Furthermore, increasing the amount of components such as parallel connection of devices introduces an undesired tradeoff between efficiency and reliability, since an increased component count increases the probability of failure. A reliability analysis has been performed on a three-phase inverter rated at 312 kVA, using parallel-connected power modules. This analysis shows that the gate voltage stress has a high impact on the reliability of the complete system. Decreasing the positive gate-source voltage could, therefore, increase the reliability of the system approximately three times without affecting the efficiency significantly. Moreover, adding redundancy in the system could also increase the mean time to failure by approximately five times.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2016
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192621 (URN)10.1109/JESTPE.2016.2551980 (DOI)000381441600031 ()2-s2.0-84982863318 (ScopusID)
Note

QC 20160920

Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-09-16 Last updated: 2016-09-21Bibliographically approved
8. High Temperature Passive Components for Extreme Environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>High Temperature Passive Components for Extreme Environments
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Silicon carbide is an excellent candidate when high temperature power electronics applications are considered. Integrated circuits as well as several power devices have been tested at high temperature. However, little attention has been paid to high temperature passive components that could enable the full SiC potential. In this work, the high temperature performances of different passive components have been studied. Integrated capacitors in bipolar SiC technology has been tested up to 300 °C and, two different designs of inductors have been tested up to 600 °C.

National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192625 (URN)
Note

QC 20160921

Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-09-16 Last updated: 2016-09-21Bibliographically approved
9. Experimental characterization of Enhancement ModeGaN power FETs at cryogenic temperatures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experimental characterization of Enhancement ModeGaN power FETs at cryogenic temperatures
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

High power density converters in combination with cryogenic power systems could have a significant effect on the electrification of transportation systems as well as other energy conversion systems. In this study, the cryogenic temperature performance of an EPC GaN power FET was evaluated. At -195 °C, an 85 % reduction in on-state resistance, a 16 % increase in threshold voltage, and no major changes in switching characteristics were observed.

National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192623 (URN)
Note

QC 20160921

Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-09-16 Last updated: 2016-09-21Bibliographically approved
10. Experimental Evaluation of a 1 kW, Single-Phase, 3-LevelGaN Inverter at Extreme Cold Environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experimental Evaluation of a 1 kW, Single-Phase, 3-LevelGaN Inverter at Extreme Cold Environments
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Low temperature of operation of power electronics applications enables higher efficiencies and higher reliability. Moreover, combining lower temperature of operation with rapidly maturing wide-bandgap semiconductors materials, such as gallium-nitride, could facilitate higher power density designs. In this study, the low temperature performance of a 1 kW single phase, 3-level GaN inverter has been evaluated. A 33% reduction in the losses was measured during rated operation at -75 °C. To show the impact of temperature on the power loss breakdown, a comparison of the estimated and measured losses has been performed.

National Category
Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192624 (URN)
Note

QC 20160921

Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-09-16 Last updated: 2016-09-21Bibliographically approved

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