SiC power modules boost EV performance

STMicroelectronics has introduced five silicon carbide (SiC) mosfet-based high-power modules for electric vehicles (EV) that improve performance and driving range. The new SiC power modules cover a range of power ratings and operating voltages commonly used in EV traction applications.

SiC power modules boost EV performance

(Source: STMicroelectronics)

These SiC power modules are housed in ST’s ACEPACK DRIVE package optimized for traction applications. They also feature ST’s third-generation (Gen3) STPOWER SiC mosfets with high power density and energy efficiency, delivering industry-leading figure of merit (RDS(ON) × die area) with very low switching energy and high performance in synchronous rectification, according to the company.

“Compared to conventional silicon power semiconductors, smaller SiC devices can handle higher operating voltages that allow faster charging and superior vehicle dynamics,” said ST. “Energy efficiency is also increased, which boosts driving range, and reliability can be extended.”

The 1200-V ADP280120W3, ADP360120W3, ADP480120W3(-L) power modules and 750-V ACEPACK DRIVE ADP46075W3 and ADP61075W3 enable a plug-and-play solution for traction inverters, compatible with direct liquid cooling. They also feature a pin-fin array for efficient heat dissipation.

Specified up to a maximum junction temperature of 175°C, they provide reliable press-fit connections and are dice sintered to the substrate for extended lifetime in automotive applications, said ST.

The modules use active metal brazed (AMB) substrate technology, known for excellent thermal efficiency and mechanical strength, with a dedicated NTC for each substrate, said ST. Options include a choice of welded or screw-fit busbar. ST said a long-busbar option allows the choice of a Hall sensor to monitor the motor current.

SiC is being adopted in  multiple EV systems, said ST, including DC/DC converters, traction inverters, and ON-board chargers (OBC) with bi-directional operation ready for vehicle-to-grid power transfer. To meet this increased demand, ST recently announced a fully integrated SiC substrate manufacturing facility in Catania, which is expected to start production in 2023

ST also announced that the ACEPACK DRIVE SiC power modules have been selected for Hyundai’s E-GMP electric-vehicle platform, which is also shared by the KIA EV6 and several models. Hyundai said the SiC power modules for its traction inverters deliver longer range.

The latest-generation 1200-V ADP280120W3, ADP360120W3, and ADP480120W3(-L) ACEPACK DRIVE SiC power modules are already in full production. The 750-V ACEPACK DRIVE ADP46075W3 and ADP61075W3 will be in full production by March 2023. ST plans to add IGBT and diode-based ACEPACK DRIVE versions.

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