As EV manufacturers are looking at how to improve EV efficiency, Cree launches new SiC power modules, promising also cost reduction.
Cree, one of the market leaders in silicon carbide (SiC) power electronics, introduced new Wolfspeed 650V SiC MOSFETs, which are envisioned for applications where efficiency is a key priority, including electric vehicles.
The high efficiency of the power modules means not only lower energy losses and higher range, but also less heat, which allows making the devices smaller and lighter. This in turn leads to lower device costs.
Cengiz Balkas, senior vice president and general manager of Wolfspeed said:
“Cree is leading the global transition from silicon to silicon carbide, and our new 650V MOSFET family is the next step in delivering a high-powered solution to a broader application base, including industrial applications everywhere. The 650V MOSFETs deliver power efficiencies that help today’s biggest technology leaders create the next generation of onboard EV charging, data centers, and energy storage solutions to reshape our cloud and renewable energy infrastructures.”
Here is how high the efficiency of the power modules is according to specs of the C3M0060065K module: above 98% at up to 5 kW (with peak above 99% below 2 kW).
The manufacturer says that switching losses are 75% lower than in case of silicon power modules, which combined with 50% lower conduction losses allows making the device much smaller:
"The new 15 mΩ and 60 mΩ 650V devices, which use Cree’s industry-leading, third generation C3M™ MOSFET technology, deliver up to 20 percent lower switching losses than competing silicon carbide MOSFETs and provide the lowest on-state resistances for higher efficiency and power dense solutions. End users benefit from lower total cost of ownership in a variety of applications through the more efficient use of power, reduced cooling requirements, and industry-leading reliability.
Compared to silicon, Wolfspeed’s new 650V silicon carbide MOSFETs deliver 75 percent lower switching losses and a 50 percent decrease in conduction losses which results in a potential 300 percent increase in power density. Design engineers can now meet and exceed the industry’s most ambitious efficiency standards, including 80 Plus® Titanium requirements for server power."
According to Cree, on-board chargers are one of the target applications and the company even released an example 6.6 kW b-directional on-board charger design to attract OEMs:
"The new 650V MOSFET family is also ideal for on-board chargers (OBCs) in the electric vehicle (EV) market. The increased efficiencies and faster switching allow customers to design smaller solutions with added performance. Wolfspeed’s 650V silicon carbide MOSFETs also enable bi-directionality in OBCs without compromising the size, weight and complexity of the solution. Furthermore, Wolfspeed’s experience with automotive AEC-Q101 qualification, proven in the E-series MOSFET family, paves the way for future automotive qualified 650V MOSFETs."
Here is the system cost comparison in a 6.6kW bi-directional on-board charger design: 13% reduction.
And finally the reference design for the 6.6-kW High-Power-Density Bi-Directional AC/DC + DC/DC Battery Charger
The company is investing about $1 billion to increase SiC manufacturing capacity as the expected demand - not only for EV power electronics - is huge.