7 July 2022
Marelli unveils 800V SiC inverter platform at Dritev
At the 22nd International VDI Congress ‘Dritev’ (Drivetrain Transmission Electrification in Vehicles) in Baden Baden, Germany (6-7 July), automotive supplier Marelli has unveiled a new, complete platform of 800V silicon carbide (SiC) inverters, ensuring improvements in terms of inverters’ size, weight and especially efficiency (a critical parameter in electric vehicles).
Due to its excellent performance at high temperature and high voltage (enabling smaller, lighter and more efficient solutions), silicon carbide is recognized as a technology of choice for power electronics, notes the firm. It is hence particularly suitable for inverters, which convert direct current (DC) power derived from batteries to alternating current (AC) electric power used in the motors of electric vehicles (EVs). In addition, Marelli’s new 800V inverter platform also features an optimized thermal structure, due to innovative structural and cooling channel designs that drastically reduce the thermal resistance between the SiC components themselves and the cooling liquid (a critical aspect in high-power applications, where the heat rejection of the power module is significant).
Among the main advantages, the new inverter platform can extract more energy from the battery at a higher efficiency and ensure a significant increase in the driving range of a vehicle, says Marelli. It also ensures faster charging times and better acceleration, it adds. Finally, a smaller and more efficient inverter allows a reduction in battery size, which delivers cost, weight and sustainability benefits.
“The new inverter platform based on our 800V silicon carbide power module technology allows to serve applications where energy use is optimized, the performance is maximized and efficiency is dramatically improved,” says Dr Razvan Panati, head of Power Electronics Technology of Marelli’s Vehicle Electrification Division. “With a complete range of modular solutions, we are able to offer to our customers more flexibility in terms of packaging, cooling system design and energy storage.”
The software for all the inverters in Marelli’s range is developed in-house by the company and is hosted by an electric control unit located in the same inverter case. The software is compliant with AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) standards and specifically customized for the diagnostic standards required by car makers. Functional safety requirements are compliant to ASIL D (Automotive Safety Integrity Level D) standard.
The new 800V SiC platform completes the inverters range offered by Marelli, resulting from over ten years of experience that also includes 400V solutions based on both insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) and silicon carbide, with gallium nitride (GaN)-based converters in development.