ARM Purification

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23 October 2019

Pre-Switch’s two-stage soft-switching IGBT and SiC gate drive architecture slashes solar inverter costs

Pre-Switch Inc of Campbell, CA, USA, a start-up that is delivering soft switching for DC/AC and AC/DC power conversion, says that its soft-switching insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) and silicon carbide (SiC) gate driver architecture, including the Pre-Drive3 controller board – powered by the Pre-Flex field-programmable gate array (FPGA) – and the resonant power gate (RPG) driver board, can significantly reduce the cost of solar inverters. The two-stage architecture is claimed to deliver the same switching loss performance – or better – as a five-level design, resulting in reduced cost, control complexity and BOM count. Also, Pre-Switch enables the simplification and size reduction of inverters and filters used in renewable energy systems, enabling energy to be put back into the grid easily and efficiently, the firm adds.

The Pre-Switch soft-switching platform enables a doubling of power output for a typical inverter, or an increase in switching speed by a factor of up to 20 times, it is reckoned. Previously, soft-switching has never been successfully-implemented for DC/AC systems with varying input voltage, temperature and load conditions. However, Pre-Switch says that it has overcome the challenges by using artificial intelligence (AI) to constantly adjust the relative timing of elements within the switching system required to force a resonance to offset the current and voltage wave forms, minimizing switching losses.

“Our benefit for solar energy system designers is that our soft-switching architecture eliminates half of the system losses. So we are able to achieve performance levels with a simple two-stage design that would require five stages using conventional multi-level techniques,” says CEO Bruce T. Renouard. `“The architecture also allows the grid tie filter size to be reduced by up to 66.67% for IGBT systems and by up to 80% for SiC MOSFETs. That is a huge advantage, not only in system size but also materials and shipping cost savings.”

See related items:

Pre-Switch launches 200kW SiC inverter evaluation system

Tags: SiC power modules

Visit: www.pre-switch.com

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