Electronic R&D Research

Electronic R&D Research

Research and characterization of new broadband semiconductor devices for the design of high frequency standard modular inverters with Flexible Embedded Controller for the integration of induction heat treatment specific systems into the industry of the future ( SiC-FET2)

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The silicon carbide material has been known and researched for over ten years in order to be applied to power devices applications, however, its use as transistor type component has not been extended due to its low reliability motivated by imperfections generated during the manufacturing process. The imperfections indicated turn around the intrinsic aspects of the wafers production process, which only allowed the production of small size transistor components, and consequently, low power.

However, in the last years the fabrication techniques have significantly improved allowing wafers with fewer imperfections, and thus larger sizes of components and higher power MOSFETs. Specifically, the sizes of the SiC-MOSFET are currently at 56mm2 with a resistance of 5.5 mOhm/cm2, allowing higher power levels and higher operating temperatures than conventional silicon technology.

The loss reduction provided by silicon carbide components, compared with conventional transistors, is between 50% and 80%. Additionally this technology offers improvements in module efficiency, dv/dt capacity, robustness against power surges, allows working with high temperatures and frequencies and reduction of the number of components required. Everything indicated makes SiC technology candidate for the replacement of current technologies.

Technological scientific objective of the SiC-FET2 project is the research of demonstrator of silicon carbide (SiC) technology in specific high frequency applications in the field of induction heating and the incorporation of SiC-MOSFET transistors as semiconductor element. The investigation of the demonstrators will be focused on the following developments based on Silicon Carbide technology: Basic Investors Modules, powered by voltage corresponding to the type of serial generator

Innovative trigger circuits of SiC-MOSFET Silicon Carbide

Fully digital controller with advanced features, including the ability of SW and FW remote update and with all inverter bridge control strategies included.

Project summary

The scope of the project is focused on the development of three technology demonstrator of silicon carbide applied to the field of industrial heat treatment by induction, namely:

  1. High power (200 kW) and high frequency (400 kHz) generator, powered by voltage, as a demonstrator of SiC-MOSFET technology in high power and frequency applications:
    • Tube welding applications
    • Hardening surface special applications
  2. Low power generator (25 kW or less), powered by voltage, as a demonstrator of SiC-MOSFET technology in low power and medium frequency, air cooled for:
    • Brazing
  3. A user interface with communications and algorithms required to be integrated in the factories of the future in accordance with the general scheme of the german project INDUSTRY-4 AUTOMATION.

General Squeme “Industry 4.0 Automation”

The project has been co-funded by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, within the National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation 2013-2016 and co-funded by FEDER funds. The project reference number is: TSI-100103-2015-26.

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