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WBG Power Conversion example


The Future of Power Systems

GaN and SiC offer unprecedented advantages over Si for an increase in voltage, efficiency, and reliability with reduced size, weight, and cost.  Additionally, novel circuit topologies and control circuits achieve lossless switching and enable further benefits to be realized.

The combination of WBG devices and Zero Voltage Switching (ZVS) at high frequencies (+1MHz), significantly impacts the power density, power capacity, and power efficiencies of any power conditioning system.  High frequency operation drastically reduces the size of passive components such as inductors and capacitors.  GaN and SiC devices are designed to handle higher current and higher voltages, reducing the number of switching components in any given system and thereby increasing reliability while further improving on this reliability through GaN & SiC’s ability to also operate efficiently at higher temperatures.  GaN and SiC devices also intrinsically have lower parasitic elements that reduce switching losses and increase efficiency.

The Challenges of WBG-BASED Power

To successfully switch GaN and SiC devices at any given frequency, unlike Si devices, a tight gate voltage range can be required (+/- 1V from nominal).  If a stable and consistent driving voltage is achieved, reaching MHz level switching speeds brings about additional challenges.

The average Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS) today, that utilizes Si, is driven at an average frequency in the hundreds of kHz.  Once a system reaches the MHz level, high frequency elements have an increased effect and impact on system efficiency and stability.  When operating multiple GaN or SiC devices at high frequencies, unlike in low-power systems, high power switching architectures present unique control scheme and operation challenges.

The same properties that allow GaN and SiC to switch at high frequencies, are also the same properties that can make high speed power controls challenging when dealing with EMI, internal parasitics, and synchronization.  In addition, successful GaN or SiC integration heavily relies on the proper switching topology and design considerations.  The room for error at this fundamental level is small when considering GaN or SiC as a viable solution.

The SET Group Difference

Through the years, SET group has been heavily invested in overcoming the challenges encountered during the integration of GaN and SiC power devices.

  • Our engineers and specialists have a cross-trained portfolio of academic and commercial experience, as SMEs in the RF, power electronics, and wireless power.
  • Our development laboratories have been specifically designed, equipped, and tooled for high power high frequency power conversion research and development.
  • Our on-going development efforts with NASA and the DoD have presented the opportunity to witness these theoretical challenges. They have also allowed us to implement novel and commercially viable solutions.
  • Our years of research and development have produced patented technology that is capable of addressing the needs of a broad range of applications.

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