Development of a High Performance SiC-Based Inverter for Motor Control Applications

Period of Performance: 09/18/2001 - 12/17/2003

$748K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

United Silicon Carbide, Inc.
7 Deer Park Drive Suite E
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Based on the successful Phase I development of a SiC inverter for motor control in Phase I, we propose to perform the major R&D work in Phase II and commercialization development in Phase III for an all-SiC inverter capable of high temperature, high power and high speed control of three phase ac induction motors. In Phase II, we shall increase the inverter power by a factor of 10, increase the PWM frequency to at least 30kHz, and use not only SiC diodes but also SiC switches. Efforts will be focused on design optimization based on inverter performance, modeling, and experimental testing. Digital signal processing controller will be used for effective and efficient control of a variable speed induction motor. High ambient temperature testing of the inverter will be carried out so that the high temperature capability of the SiC inverter can be demonstrated. Power module design, noise-immune gate drive development, high frequency operation, inverter efficiency, and inverter cooling will be the key issues studied in Phase II. The Phase II SiC inverter R&D work will provide the key to the commercialization development of a high power SiC-based motor controller in Phase III for both military and civilian applications.