9 March 2017
Mitsubishi Electric develops smallest SiC inverter for HEVs
Supported partially by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Electric Corp has developed a working model of an ultra-compact silicon carbide (SiC) inverter for hybrid electrical vehicles (HEVs) that is believed to be the smallest SiC of its type, at just 5 liters in volume. It is also believed to offer the highest power density of 86kVA/L for two-motor HEVs, due to incorporation of full-SiC power semiconductor modules that achieve superior heat dissipation. The new inverter is said to offer improved placement, fuel and energy efficiency, and frees up vehicle interior space. Commercialization for HEVs, electrical vehicles (EVs) and other applications is expected sometime around 2021.
With fuel-efficiency regulations growing increasingly stringent, the new ultra-compact SiC inverter is expected to help to meet the increasing demand for HEVs by reducing the amount of on-board space that must be allotted to electrical apparatus, such as inverters and motors. Mitsubishi Electric says that, to develop the smallest inverter, it created a superior heat dissipation structure that ensures long-term reliability by connecting the power semiconductor modules and heat-sink with solder.
In future, Mitsubishi Electric aims to continue developing its compact SiC inverter for mass production, targeting commercialization in 2021.
Technical details of the new inverter are being presented at the National Convention of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEJ) on 15-17 March.