New concepts for the next generation of power converters

Power Electronics for Energy Conversion

New transistors based on silicon carbide (SiC) or gallium nitride (GaN) components open up many new possibilities in the field of power electronics. Due to both the extremely low switching and conduction losses, very high efficiencies can be achieved. Because of its high switching frequency, the expenditure for passive devices, in particular the dimensions of the inductors can be appreciably reduced.

Compared to solutions using silicon devices, these new components are characterized by high switching frequencies and small inductive devices which make them much more compact and cost-effective on the systems level. With SiC transistors, the switching frequency is increased by a factor of three to five, as compared to silicon transistors. With GaN semiconductors, even higher switching frequencies can be achieved. These devices are optimal for use in power converters in the small power range with switching frequencies in the MHz range.