Samuel Vasconcelos Araújo On the Perspectives of Wide-Band Gap Power Devices in Electronic-Based Power Conversion for Renewable Systems 3 Elektrische Energiesysteme Elektrische Energiesysteme Band 3 Herausgegeben von Kompetenzzentrum für Dezentrale Elektrische Energieversorgungstechnik On the Perspectives of Wide-Band Gap Power Devices in Electronic-Based Power Conversion for Renewable Systems
The high breakdown field from WBG materials allows the construction of unipolar devices with very low specific chip resistance mainly characterized by very low conduction and switching losses, even at high blocking voltages. Suitable concepts for SiC and GaN range from traditional FET structures driven by a MOS interface or a PN-Junction, bipolar devices and even high-electron mobility transistors (HEMT). A detailed revision of the literature will be performed in this work with the objective of
... providing a broad overview of possible approaches, along with inherent advantages and limitations. In addition to this, a benchmarking of several SiC-based devices technologies rated for 1200 V and 1700 V will be performed against their state-of-the-art Silicon-counterparts. Concerning the application of wide band gap devices in renewable energy systems, a significant cost reduction potential can be obtained due to smaller expenditure with magnetic filters and cooling, alongside higher efficiency levels. These aspects will be discussed in details in order to identify constraints and bottlenecks at application level with special focus on photovoltaic and wind power systems. Foreword Power electronics is taking an increasingly important role in our daily lives, as it is the keystone not only to the efficient, but also cost effective and reliable use of electric energy in all possible fields of application; ranging from power supply from renewable energy sources to industry, IT and transportation. The first revolution in this field of technology came in the 1960s with the viability of switched-mode power conversion, owning to the emergence of BJTs operating at higher speeds. The development of MOSFETs and later IGBTs provided a further step in the direction towards higher frequency and power levels. The advent of power devices based on silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) is currently pointing in the direction of a second revolution, where several paradigms concerning the design and performance of power conversion stages will be broken. Such giant leap will nevertheless require, aside from improvements in the chip technology itself, significant developments in device packaging, driving and also on the available materials and design strategies for passive filter elements. This work addresses some of these issues; presenting an overview of device structures, benchmarking and finally discussing issues at application level, with focus on converters for renewable energy sources.