SemiSouth, Mississippi State Research Center Improve Inverter Efficiency

SemiSouth Laboratories Inc. and the Center for Advanced Vehicle Systems (CAVS) at Mississippi State University have announced that SemiSouth's enhancement-mode silicon carbide (SiC) Junction Field Effect Transistor (JFET) significantly improved the efficiency of an off-the-shelf inverter commonly used in residential and commercial solar power energy systems. CAVS provided guidance and precision test equipment required to measure and validate the efficiency improvement.

CAVS replaced existing silicon transistors with SemiSouth's enhancement-mode SiC JFETs – the inverter realized reduced losses in the power semiconductors by as much as 50%. Most significantly, CAVS used the JFETs as ‘drop-in’ replacements for the silicon devices, making no design changes to the inverter before inserting the SemiSouth components.
The grid-connected, low-frequency isolated inverter, purchased from the commercial inventory of a leading solar inverter provider, was designed with conventional silicon Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs). This new enhancement-mode JFET can be used as a direct replacement for silicon MOSFETs and IGBTs in virtually any off-the-shelf converter or inverter design, the researchers say.

 

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