R&D / Technology – Large-capacity hybrid SiC power module
A traction inverter incorporating large-capacity hybrid SiC power modules mounted on a railcar has demonstrated its energy saving effect in commercial operation.
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Mitsubishi Electric has developed a large-capacity hybrid SiC*1 power module, and has commercialized a railcar traction inverter that incorporates these power modules as a world-first achievement.
A railcar equipped with the inverter has been in commercial operation since February 2012, and it has demonstrated for the first time in the world*2 the energy saving effect that can be achieved with SiC power modules.
About the Technology
Development of the large-capacity hybrid SiC power module
A large-capacity power module with a rating of 1200A/1700V was developed by configuring a hybrid structure that combines SiC-SBD*3 and Si-IGBT*4.
This hybrid SiC power module records the world's largest capacity*5 in the category of IGBT module that incorporates SiC-SBD.
Commercialization of a railcar traction inverter incorporating SiC modules
By incorporating large-capacity SiC power modules, power loss can be reduced to 30% of conventional inverters.
The SiC inverter is also 40% smaller and lighter than conventional inverters.
World's first demonstration of energy saving, through use of a commercially operating railcar
The SiC inverter was put in operation in February 2012 onboard a commercially operating Tokyo Metro Ginza Line 01 series railcar. In a field test, a 38.6% reduction in energy use*6 was demonstrated in comparison with conventional inverters in other railcars operating on the same Ginza line.
Moreover, with an increase in regenerative ratio to 51.0%, higher energy utilization efficiency has been achieved than ever before.
This was the world's first demonstration of the energy saving effect of a railcar traction inverter incorporating SiC power modules using a commercially operating railcar.
- SiC (Silicon Carbide): A compound of carbon and silicon in a 1:1 ratio
- As of February 2012 according to an internal survey
- SBD (Schottky Barrier Diode): A diode that utilizes the Schottky barrier formed at the semiconductor-metal junction
- IGBT: Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor
- As of January 2010 according to an internal survey
- Includes the energy saving effect achieved by modifying the regenerative brake system
The above development utilizes, in part, the results of a study conducted under contract from New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan.