Compact silicon carbide diodes enable on-board EV charging

19th November 2014
Posted By : Barney Scott
Compact silicon carbide diodes enable on-board EV charging

STMicroelectronics has revealed its automotive-qualified silicon carbide (SiC) diodes for advanced On-board Battery Chargers (OBCs)  in EVs such as Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs) that demand high power-handing capability within a confined space. These diodes allow designers to build smaller power modules, beneficial for automotive applications and suitable for tackling the Little Box Challenge presented by Google and IEEE.

ST is a device-manufacturer partner of the $1m challenge to design kW-scale inverters more than ten times smaller than current offerings, for applications including solar micro-generators.

The diodes employ advanced technology to prevent high-current spikes from damaging the device. Previously, designers have typically over-specified the diodes for safety whereas, according to ST, its technology provides 2.5 times more over-current capability versus rated current, enabling the use of smaller, more economical lower-current diodes without compromising on reliability or efficiency.

ST’s automotive-qualified SiC diodes feature increased reverse-breakdown voltage of 650V, ensuring suitable safety margins between normal and short-term peak voltages across the semiconductors used in OBC.

The devices build on the known energy-efficiency advantages of SiC as a Wide Band-Gap (WBG) technology that, in comparison with conventional silicon devices, enables lower switching losses and higher voltage ratings in relation to device size. ST's 650V devices include the 10A STPSC10H065DY in the TO-220AC power package and the 12A STPSC12H065DY in the TO-220AC. The STPSC20H065CTY, in the TO-220AB package, and STPSC20H065CWY, in the TO-247, are 2x10A dual-diode devices that help maximise space utilisation and reduce the weight of the OBC.

The components are available to order, priced from $4.15 for 100 units of STPSC10H065DY.

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