High-Temperature Control Circuitry

Period of Performance: 03/13/2003 - 09/13/2003

$99.9K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

UQM Technologies, Inc.
7501 Miller Drive, PO Box 439
Frederick, CO 80530
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The objective of this Phase I project is to develop high temperature control circuits for use in silicon carbide-based inverters operating at temperatures of 150°C and higher. The specific objectives of this proposal are to research high temperature components, develop control circuit designs using available high temperature components, and analyze proposed designs to determine feasibility in inverter gate drive applications. UQM Technologies will research, design, and analyze high temperature control circuit designs to determine which has the best potential for application in high temperature, silicon carbide power converters. UQM Technologies is well positioned to develop inverter control circuits with 15 years of experience in designing inverters and brushless PM motors for electric and hybrid electric vehicle applications. A variety of gate drive topologies exist, a few of which will likely prove to be better suited to high temperature operation. High temperature silicon carbide power converter technology promises improved power density and a reduction in the size of the inverter and cooling system. The development of high temperature control circuits will enable the implementation of high temperature power converters because the components can be integrated inside a single package without the need for separating the high temperature from the standard temperature components. For packaging purposes, this integration results in improved electromagnetic noise performance, reduced cabling, and simplicity. The integration will also allow for faster development of high temperature power converter designs when the silicon carbide devices reach commercialization.High temperature designs will lead to reductions in cooling system size and weight, and also reduced overall system costs and improved system performance. Furthermore, higher temperature operation of power converters may become compatible with the coolant temperatures in internal combustion engines, eliminating the need for multiple cooling systems. This is a significant benefit for all hybrid electric vehicle applications, both military and commercial. Other applications in high power switching or hostile temperature environments could also benefit from development of advanced, high temperature power converters, such as spacecraft, aircraft, and electric power distribution systems. UQM Technologies has an existing product line of inverter designs ranging from 1 kW to over 100 kW that would benefit from further development of high temperature power converters.