WBG effects future solar energy

What is WBG in solar energy ?

It mean wide band gap semiconductor .

We can say that component switch such as MOSFET, IGBT and diode which are most important devices of power converter such as MOSFET, IGBT and diode are made with silicon. Because it is vital to the effect of solar electric power generation system, some leading semi-conductor companies like ON Semiconductor has invested much to improve the performance. However, this industry has entered the area where merely get much more progress by using silicon devices. Thus, those switch devices based on WBG material , including GaN and SiC are considered as the key to future solar electric power generation.

SiC switch device is often called as “solution of all power engineers”, providing boost performance in some key areas. In static applications, inherent lower resistance produced when they are fully connected can decrease the waste to generate less thermal energy during working.

In current switch energy application, the purpose of engineers is improve the frequency of switch to shrink the size of magnetic devices like inductor and transformer. This way reduces much inrush current when connected in many designs of inverters. Adopted MOSFET based on silicon, because of the large quantity of Qg needed in each switch cycle, with the rate added, dynamic loss increased as well.

When using SiC devices which static switch loss is much more less, so it can use higher switch frequency and improve the performance at the same time(also shrink the size). In contrast, when typical SiC diode worked with 80Hz, its loss is less than silicon diode by 73%. In high power solar electric power generation system, effect improved by 3% can bring obvious improvements.

People still considered that SiC case is expensive, but in fact it is not. Although these devices have sold in the market for a long time, adoption rate is lower than expected all the time, because the focus point is the cost of each device instead of the cost of whole system or ownership.

If we are going to use 30kw energy case based on silicon, the cost of inductor and capacitor is 90%(60% and 30% respectively). The proportion of semi-conductor devices in BOM cost is 10%. Cost of each device is higher than silicon device, but by using SiC switch can make capacitance and inductance decreased by 75%, the cost canceling the added switch cost is reduced obviously. Because of that, BOM used with SiC case has achieved the low level of silicon case and the former has much more obvious application and performance advantages.

Modern SiC-WBG solution

Leading semi-conductor manufacturer including ON Semiconductor provides a series of comprehensive and effective energy case, advanced SiC device based on SiC is also included. After specifically optimized, the advanced gate diver can be used together with SiC MOSFET and provide the highest gate voltage to ensure the lowest waste.

SiC MOSFET, for example, NVHL080N120SCI of ON Semiconductor have only 80 mOhm on-resistance (RDS (ON)) and low gate charge (QG) and capacitance values, reducing electromagnetic interference (EMI) and support the use of faster switch frequency, thereby bring the above benefits. SiC Schottky diodes such as 1200V, 30A FFSH30120A have no reverse recovery current and temperature-independent switching characteristics, and are very suitable for advanced solar power applications.

The reason why solar energy is becoming the vital energy in the future is that it provides the case of environmental protection and sustainable development. Price drop, government policy and carbon dioxide reduction prompt the growth of this area.
Energy efficiency is crucial here and is the key to designing and manufacturing small, highly reliable systems, and silicon-based solutions have reached the limit of their development potential and are now being surpassed by WBG technology. SiC-based devices have much lower losses and can operate at higher temperatures and faster operating frequencies, thereby greatly reducing the size and cost of inductors and capacitors, which account for the main cost of BOM. Therefore, these efficient and reliable systems can be designed at a lower price level than the previous generation of silicon-based products.

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