How Wolfspeed silicon carbide is changing solar power systems

Sustainability is an important factor in so many areas of daily life, and that includes power generation.

The demand for technology that supports the use of renewable resources has been increasing, and it only makes sense that how we transmit and transform that power must also be sustainable. Silicon carbide (SiC) power components have the potential to significantly increase the sustainability of renewable power and the technology that makes it possible.

The Rapid Growth of Solar Power Generation

According to Statista, US net solar power generation reached its highest levels in 2018 at 66.6 gigawatt-hours. This rapid level of growth has been taking place since 2011 when the net solar power generation was less than 2 gigawatt-hours. During this increase in demand for solar power generation technology, there have also been major developments in the area of silicon carbide as a semiconductor material and, more specifically, its use in power components.

The Positive Impact of Silicon Carbide on Sustainability

Silicon carbide has become known for what it can achieve in the way of higher efficiency, reduced heat generation, and higher power density when compared to the more traditional Silicon (Si). Using silicon carbide power components instead of Silicon for solar inverters can save 10 megawatts for each gigawatt and 500 watts/sec in operation, which represents significant energy savings.

Solar PV Inverters and 650V Silicon Carbide MOSFETs

One specific area where silicon carbide has positively impacted the sustainability of solar power generation designs is in the design of highly efficient solar PV for residential use. For example, using a 650V SiC MOSFET in place of a Si MOSFET enables lighter, smaller, and more efficient solar inverters. This also leads to a significant reduction in system losses and a lower cost per watt when compared to Si. In addition, silicon carbide MOSFETs generate less heat than their Si counterparts.

There are other benefits to using silicon carbide MOSFET that may not directly relate to sustainability. For example, the use of Wolfspeed’s new family of 650V SiC MOSFETs results in a lower cost per watt compared to Si. They are extremely durable and reliable, able to withstand massive temperature swings and high humidity environments, which also contributes to design sustainability.

Wolfspeed Solutions for Renewable Power

Wolfspeed is the industry leader when it comes to silicon carbide power electronics that can significantly contribute to the overall efficiency of renewable power designs, have low heat generation, high power density, and outstanding reliability.

Product and Reference Design Solutions

Product   Blocking Voltage (V) RDS(ON) at 25℃(mΩ) Current Rating at 25℃ (A)   Package  
C3M0015065D 650 V 15 mΩ 120 A TO-247-3
C3M0015065K 650 V 15 mΩ 120 A TO-247-4
C3M0060065J 650 V 60 mΩ 36 A TO-263-7
C3M0060065K 650 V 60 mΩ 37 A TO-247-4
C3M0060065D 650 V 60 mΩ 37 A TO-247-3

Reference Designs

Explore Wolfspeed’s 650V SiC MOSFETs, companion parts, and reference designs to learn more about how SiC MOSFET technology from Wolfspeed can help you build better products that are up for the demands of today’s modern devices.

CRD-06600FF065N — 6.6-kW High-Power-Density Bi-Directional AC/DC + DC/DC Battery Charger Reference Design

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  • Demonstration of Wolfspeed's 650 V, 60 mΩ (C3M™) SiC MOSFETs in a 6.6 kW Bi-Directional converter targeting high efficiency and high power density On-Board Charging applications

  • The demo board consist of a Bi-Directional Totem-Pole PFC (AC/DC) stage and an Isolated Bi-Directional DC/DC stage based on a CLLC topology with a variable DC Link Voltage

  • Utilization of the high switching frequency operation allow the demo board to be smaller, lighter and overall more cost effective

  • Wolfspeed's 6.6 kW High Power Density OBC demo board can accept 90VAC-265VAC as an input and provide 250VDC-450VDC at the output with > 96.5% of efficiency in both charging and inversion modes

  • Main target applications of this demo board include: EV Charging and Energy Storage

  • Documentation includes a bill of materials (BOM), schematic, board layout and the application note

KIT-CRD-3DD065P – DC/DC Buck-Boost Converter Evaluation Kit

Body Image 5-Wolfspeed-KIT-CRD-3DD065P
  • Evaluate and optimize steady state and high speed switching performance of Wolfspeed C3M™ SiC MOSFETs and Schottky diodes

  • Analyze the evaluation board in versatile power conversion topologies, such as Synchronous / Asynchronous Buck or Boost converter, Half Bridge and Full Bridge (Please note: Full Bridge topology requires 2 Evaluation Kits)

  • Board features footprints for both 3 and 4 lead TO-247 packages of C3M™ SiC MOSFETs

  • Compatible with both TO-247 and TO-220 packages of SiC Schottky diodes

  • Does not require an additional capacitor to run the evaluation board in the buck or boost converter topologies

  • Two (2) dedicated gate drivers available on the board for each C3M™ SiC MOSFET

  • Includes (2) 1200 V, 75mΩ C3M™ SiC MOSFETs in a TO-247-4 Package with the testing hardware

CRD-06600DD065N – 6.6 kW High Frequency DC-DC Converter

Body Image 6-Wolfspeed-CRD-06600DD065N
  • Demonstration of Wolfspeed’s 650 V, 60 mΩ (C3M™) SiC MOSFETs in a 6.6 kW High Frequency DC-DC converter targeting high power density applications

  • The demo board consist of a DC-DC LLC topology in which primary side is based on a Full bridge stage while the secondary side is based on a asynchronous rectification stage

  • Utilization of high frequency operation allow the demo board to be smaller, lighter and overall more cost effective

  • Wolfspeed’s 6.6 kW high frequency demo board can accept 380 VDC – 420 VDC as an input and provide 400 VDC at the output with > 96 % efficiency

  • Main target application of this demo board include: Industrial power supplies and EV Chargers

  • Documentation includes a bill of materials (BOM), schematic, board layout and the application note

CRD-02AD065N – 2.2 kW High Efficiency (80+ Titanium) Bridgeless Totem-Pole PFC with SiC MOSFET

Body Image 7-Wolfspeed-CRD-02AD065N
  • Highly efficient and low cost solution of 2.2 kW bridgeless totem-pole PFC topology based on Wolfspeed’s latest (C3M™) 650 V 60 mΩ SiC MOSFETs

  • Comfortably achieve Titanium standard by having > 98.5% efficiency while THD < 4% under all load conditions

  • Innovative resistor based current sensing solution

  • Distortion less inductor current at zero crossing during all load conditions

  • Reduced Bill of Material (BOM) by the use of general purpose diodes in place of low frequency switches

  • Main target applications of this demo board include: Server, Telecom and Industrial power supply units (PSU)

  • Documentation includes bill of materials (BOM), schematic, board layout, application note

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