A basic drop-in replacement of SiC devices in silicon based power converters derives limited advantages from state-of-the-art SiC technology. Moreover, it leads to long-term reliability issues. To utilize full benefits of SiC, power converters need to be developed with suitable considerations from the beginning of the design phase. The talk covers general design guidelines for the utilization of SiC devices. It also discusses some limitations of today’s SiC devices; such as poor short-circuit withstand capability, and how these limitations present an opportunity to explore research problems that will have significant impact on the technology development. Different examples emphasizing the research opportunities in SiC converters will be covered during the talk. Experimental results by the presenter (which are already published in public domain) on 1.2 kV SiC MOSFETs and 15 kV SiC IGBTs will be used to highlight both challenges and research opportunities in SiC power conversion technology.
Arun Kadavelugu is a Senior Scientist at ABB Corporate Research, USA. He completed his PhD in Power Electronics from North Carolina State University in 2014. His thesis focus was on characterization of the first-ever 15 kV SiC IGBTs, development of medium voltage gate drivers and demonstration of power converters up to 10 kV. This work was funded by the Department of Energy, USA. He holds an M.Tech degree in power electronics from IIT Kanpur, where his thesis was on grid-interfaced cascaded multi-level photovoltaic inverter. At IIT Kanpur, he also worked as a Research Associate on a Renewable Energy Integration project funded by NaMPET, before moving to USA to pursue PhD. For the past 8 years, he has been primarily working on SiC power conversion using semiconductor devices rated from 600 V to 15 kV, including one year of experience on 650 V GaN power conversion.