High-Speed High-Temperature Silicon Carbide Motor Drive Inverter for Hybrid Vehicles

Period of Performance: 02/03/2001 - 12/02/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

PZ Technology, Inc.
414 Nimitz Place
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Principal Investigator


We propose to develop a SiC inverter for controlling a three-phase AC induction motor of at least 6 HP. In Phase I, we shall concentrate on (i) building a Si-based inverter with DSP for real time control by using high speed Si devices for over 30 KHz operation, (ii) building a hybrid SiC-diode/Si-IGBT based inverter and evaluating its performance, (iii) preliminary design of a SiC-based inverter, (iv) survey of state-fo-the-art in SiC device development and identifying the type of SiC devices for Phase II SiC inverter development, and (v) drafting a test plan for the SiC inverter. In Phase I, inverter characterization will be concentrated on switching losses vs. temperature, inverter efficiency at different temperatures, and the highest possible operating frequency and temperature. We shall also, in Phase I, characterize state-of-the-art SiC diode as well as its performance in the hybrid inverter circuit. In Phase II, SiC devices will be procured to build SiC inverters for motor control up to at least 6 HP. Improved SiC inverter design will be identified and used to guide the commercial development in Phase III.High performance SiC inverters for motor control in Army vehicles such as HMMWV and for commercial hybrid and all electric vehicles as well as for numerous commercial power electronic systems.