Utilising ANPC topology to boost system efficiency

29th July 2019
Alex Lynn

Compared with traditional three-level neutral-point-clamped topologies, the advanced neutral-point-clamped (ANPC) inverter design supports an even loss distribution between semiconductor devices. Infineon Technologies utilises the ANPC topology for its hybrid SiC and IGBT power module EasyPACK 2B in the 1,200V family. 

Optimising for sweet spot losses of the CoolSiC MOSFET and the TRENCHSTOP IGBT4 chipsets respectively, the module features increased power density and a switching frequency of up to 48 kHz. This is especially well suited for the needs of new generation 1,500V photovoltaic and energy storage applications.

The new ANPC topology supports a system efficiency of more than 99%. Implementing the hybrid Easy 2B power module in e.g. the DC/AC stage of a 1,500V solar string inverter allows for coils to be smaller than with devices with a lower switching frequency. It therefore weighs significantly less than a corresponding inverter with purely silicon components. 

Additionally, the losses with silicon carbide are smaller than with silicon. For this reason, less heat must be dissipated so that the heat sink can also shrink. Overall, this leads to smaller inverter housings and costs savings at system level. Compared to five-level topologies, the three-level design reduces complexity of the inverter design.

The Easy 2B standard package for power modules is characterised by an industry-leading low stray inductance. Additionally, the integrated body diode of the CoolSiC MOSFET chip ensures a low-loss freewheeling function without the need for another SiC diode chip. 

While the NTC temperature sensor facilitates the monitoring of the device, the PressFIT technology reduces assembly time for mounting the device.

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