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12 June 2015

Princeton Power demos 30kW power converter with 99% efficiency using SiC JFETs

Princeton Power Systems of Princeton, NJ, USA - which designs and manufactures products for energy management, micro-grid operations and electric vehicle charging - has demonstrated for the first time a grid-tied bi-directional power converter for commercial use based on a silicon carbide (SiC) switching technology platform.

The converter operates at 30,000W power throughput and 480Vac, using junction field-effect transistor (JFET) devices provided by United Silicon Carbide (USCi) of Monmouth Junction, NJ, USA and Princeton Power Systems trigger cards integrated in a unique architecture. The converter demonstrated peak efficiency greater than 99% and sustained 100% power overloads.

"This product demonstration shows that silicon carbide technology can play a role in highly efficient and cost-effective commercial products in the very near future, and we intend to expand its use to higher power levels and ultimately across our product line," says Princeton Power Systems' president & CEO Ken McCauley.

The power stage at the heart of the converter was jointly developed by USCi and Princeton Power, using JFET devices from USCi and triggers and controls developed by Princeton Power Systems. The integrated product was designed and tested at Princeton Power's Nationally Recognized Test Lab in Lawrenceville.

"Our JFET and cascode technology deliver the only standard gate drive SiC switch solution, while having the lowest specific on-resistance in the industry," claims USCi's president & CEO Chris Dries. "These advantages enable the most cost-effective SiC solution," he adds. "The demonstration at Princeton Power represents a breakthrough in operating an integrated power block using commercially available silicon carbide devices."

The specifications for a commercial GTIB-30-SiC converter using SiC technology will include a CEC weighted efficiency of 97.5% in a double-conversion bi-directional architecture and will be compatible with advanced batteries over a wide DC voltage range, 208/480Vac output, and UL-compliant. The companies are planning to introduce a 100kW SiC-based product in 2016.

Tags: SiC JFETs

Visit: www.unitedsic.com

Visit: www.princetonpower.com

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