4 October 2011

Mitsubishi to launch next-gen SiC inverter for railcars

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Electric Corp says that it is to launch a next-generation traction inverter system incorporating large-capacity silicon carbide (SiC) power modules. Railcar systems fitted with the traction inverter can achieve 30% energy savings, require less maintenance and emit less noise than conventional silicon (Si) power modules, it is reckoned. The first commercial application, following a series of ongoing field tests starting in January 2012, is expected to be in railcars of Tokyo Metro Co Ltd.

Compared to Si-based power modules used in current traction inverters, the new SiC power module offers key improvements, says Mitsubishi Electric. In addition to 30% reduced power loss in the traction inverter, inverter size and weight have each been reduced by 40%.

The new inverter system can also enhance the performance of regenerative brakes, leading to the production of more regenerative electricity, says the firm. Incorporating two 1700V and 1200A SiC chips, the new inverter’s high-frequency switching capability also leads to 40% less power loss in the motor. Furthermore, the inverter emits up to 6dB less noise compared to conventional models, Mitsubishi Electric claims.

Railways are garnering renewed attention as a means of reduced-carbon transportation, says the firm. Continued improvements in railcar equipment performance, including the new inverter system, are expected to lower the environmental impact of railways further, it adds.

Tags: Mitsubishi SiC inverter SiC

Visit: www.MitsubishiElectric.com

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