IGBT modules for 3-level inverters offer industry-leading current density of 4.9A/cm²

27th April 2011
ES Admin
Semikron has introduced the newest member of its MiniSKiiP IGBT power semiconductor module family. The new modules are available in 3-level topology and boast a rated current of 4.9A/cm², the highest rated current per unit area when compared with competitor products. The use of one phase leg per module allows the development of compact inverters with output power of up to 85kVA. MiniSKiiP is characterised by fast and easy single-screw assembly and is therefore optimised for the efficient manufacture of 3-level solar inverters and UPS systems.
The rated current per unit of area is up to twice that of other 3-level modules. Since no solid busbars are needed between the three phases, and hence the modules, more-compact inverters can be made. The reverse voltage of the IGBTs and diodes used has been increased to 650V to enable DC link voltages of up to 900V for the 480V three-phase power applications typical in commercial or industrial applications. Each module has a 3-level phase leg comprising ten power semiconductors.

Across the world, more than 15 million MiniSKiiP modules are used in drives and frequency converters. The success of this module platform continues in the new 3-level topology, which improves electrical efficiency and makes power converters more efficient. Thermal and electrical connection between the module, the heat sink and the driver board is established with a single screw or two screws for rated module currents of up to 150A or 200A respectively. This means that solder equipment and time-consuming soldering processes are not needed at final-stage assembly. For solar inverter output power of 60kVA and above, i.e. for rated current of 150A and higher, modules with screw connections were previously used for the busbars. Thanks to MiniSKiiP 200A 3-level modules, the busbars can be replaced with cheaper PCBs in inverters with outputs of up to 85kVA. Former complex 8-screw connections have been reduced to simple 2-screw-assembly solutions.

“Owing to the efficiency gain, 3-level technology is set to become standard in solar inverters and UPS systems in the very near future,” commented Thomas Grasshoff, Head of International Product Management, referring to the trends in these markets. In the drives sector, MiniSKiiP modules have already gained a significant share of the market thanks to their fast and easy assembly, reliability, and reduced system size.

The 3-level product range from Semikron covers rated currents of 20A to 600A: featuring SEMITOP solder modules for up to 150A, MiniSKiiP spring contact modules for up to 200A and SKiM screw connection modules for up to 600A.

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