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How SiC Is Used In Industrial Power Supplies

Dave Skinner, Product Marketing Engineer
Apr 06, 2020
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SiC (Silicon Carbide) power components continue to prove invaluable in power supplies across widespread industries. Applications are as diverse as powering high-traction electric motors used in railways and the uninterruptible power supplies necessary in areas such as medicine and communications. Here are five ways SiC power is put to the test in industrial power supplies.

Electric Motor Drives Use SiC

Electric motors require power to function, and electric motor drives in EVs and HEVs are no exception. SiC MOSFETs and SiC Schottky diodes are already used to power electric motor drives, resulting in higher efficiency, faster switching speeds, and cooler run components, all while meeting the stringent quality requirements of the automotive industry.

IT Power Supplies Use SiC

Data centers consume between 2% and 4% of all electrical energy in the United States, meaning IT power supplies (or server power supplies) can make a tremendous difference in efficiency and operational costs--cooling a data center can consume up to 40% of the electric bill. Power supply design engineers are already integrating SiC diodes and MOSFETs, with promising results. SiC components currently enable a peak efficiency greater than 98.5%, drastically reducing heat generation.

SiC Powers Commercial Inductive Heating

Induction heating is used to achieve incredibly high temperatures for ionizing plasma, growing semiconductor materials, liquefying metals, and metallurgical heat treatment. Three major inductive heating requirements include high current-carrying capability, low conduction loss, and fast switching speed. SiC MOSFETs have proven ideal for inductive heating applications, meeting these requirements and keeping overall system costs low.

SiC Powers Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

For power systems that cannot afford to go down, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems are the solution. These power supplies are vital to the continuous operation of mission-critical objectives and are found at the heart of IT systems, medical facilities, and communication centers. A UPS performs best when using SiC components, providing incredible reliability, lower operating temperatures, and up to 25% fewer switching losses.

High-Torque Electric Traction Motor Power Supplies

Whether it's a scream-inducing roller coaster ride or a powerful public transportation locomotive, both systems have one major thing in common: high-torque electric traction motors. These motors require small and lightweight power systems — both characteristics made possible through the use of SiC power components. Additionally, the use of SiC means increased reliability and power efficiency.

Wolfspeed Solutions for Industrial Power Supplies

Wolfspeed is the industry leader when it comes to SiC power electronics (including Schottky diodes and MOSFETs) that combine key features such as high efficiency, compact size, low heat generation, high power density, and fast switching. Our power product line is reliable, durable, and ready to use in your power supply design, regardless of industry or application.

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