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IQE

5 December 2018

Transphorm’s high-voltage GaN used by Inergy in redesigned portable solar power generator

Transphorm Inc of Goleta, near Santa Barbara, CA, USA — which designs and manufactures JEDEC- and AEC-Q101-qualified high-voltage (HV) gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistors (FETs) for high-voltage power conversion applications — along with solar energy innovator Inergy of Pocatello, ID, USA (which designs and manufactures portable plug-and-play energy storage solutions) and power supply design partner Telcodium Inc of Boucherville, QC, Canada — says that the soon-to-be-released Inergy Kodiak Extreme uses high-voltage GaN to reimagine what’s possible with portable power generators.

The Kodiak Extreme uses a photovoltaic (PV) inverter and battery charger that both integrate Transphorm’s JEDEC-qualified GaN platform. These power systems result in a generator that is claimed to be more powerful, lighter and quicker to charge than competitive products. Also, given that GaN semiconductors run cooler than similar silicon devices, the Kodiak Extreme does not require an internal cooling fan, allowing Inergy to develop one of the first truly water-resistant and dustproof solar power generators for consumers.

With a 110/120Vac 2kW output, the Kodiak Extreme solar generator targets consumers and professionals (construction, emergency services, industrial etc) by providing reliable off-grid AC power. Its PV inverter and battery converter use Transphorm’s TP65H050WS 50mΩ TO-247 FET and TPH3206LDGB 150mΩ PQFN devices, respectively. They serve as close replacements for the silicon IGBTs and MOSFETs used in prior Kodiak models given their standard packaging, making them easy to design in and heat-sink.

Transphorm says that its high-reliability GaN semiconductors can increase power density up to 40% and decrease heat losses through traditional heat-sinking methods while switching two to three times faster than silicon transistors. The Gen III devices also offer ±20V gate robustness and a 4V threshold, decreasing the need for additional circuitry and controls to ensure reliability.

Compared with currently available competing products, the Kodiak Extreme is claimed to demonstrate the following advantages:

  • 33% more power output;
  • minimum 98% inverter efficiency from light load to full load;
  • charging over four times faster;
  • fanless for harsh environments; and
  • roughly half the weight.

“We’ve been interested in gallium nitride power systems for some time, having first been introduced to it observing the Google Little Box Challenge,” notes Inergy’s chief technology officer James Brainard. “The technology’s capabilities would allow us to create a highly ruggedized and efficient portable generator capable of bringing affordable solar energy to the masses,” he adds. “Superior durability, high clean power output, lightweight — these are all the attributes that our customers want. Working with Transphorm and Telcodium to develop the GaN platform for our system enables us to achieve that vision.”

The Kodiak Extreme is being unveiled at Power-Gen International 2018 conference & exhibition in Orlando, FL, USA (4-6 December). Commercial release is scheduled for first-quarter 2019.

See related items:

Telcodium partners with Transphorm on first redundant power supplies using GaN FETs

Tags:  Transphorm GaN-on-Si GaN HEMT Power electronics

Visit:  www.power-gen.com

Visit:  www.inergytek.com/pages/kodiakextreme

Visit:  www.telcodium.com

Visit:  www.transphormusa.com/design-resources

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