New Industry Products

Microsemi Introduces Compact Power Modules for Solar Inverters

August 09, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Microsemi Corp. has introduced a new line of standard power modules for solar inverters utilizing its space saving compact SP3 package. The eight new Microsemi solar inverter modules feature full bridge configurations combining low saturation "Trench & Field Stop" IGBT top switches with fast NPT IGBT bottom switches for unipolar switching. The top IGBTs operate at line frequency, while the bottom IGBTs switch at frequencies from 15 kHz to 50 kHz. Total losses are said to be minimized, enabling maximum solar inverter efficiency.

"With their very low 12mm profile and a small 40.8 mm x 73.4 mm footprint, our new power modules provide a very compact power solution for solar inverters. The low inductance of the isolated SP3 package gives excellent performance at elevated switching frequencies. Solderable terminals facilitate easy mounting to a PCB," said Serge Bontemps, Power Modules Products Development Director in Merignac, France.

Diodes in the new modules are matched to the power transistors for improved solar inverter efficiency as well. High speed, soft recovery DQ series diodes are designed in parallel with the top IGBTs to provide low recovery losses in combination with the bottom fast IGBTs. Low forward voltage diodes protect the bottom IGBTs during output current zero crossings. Integrated thermal sensors monitor the module case for over-temperature protection.

The new Microsemi power modules line includes five 600V and three 1200V models. COOLMOS™ devices are available in one 600V module, allowing it to operate at even higher switching frequencies with minimum conduction losses. These standard modules can also be upgraded to withstand more demanding environmental conditions. For example, aluminium nitride substrates can replace standard alumina for improved thermal performance; silicon carbide diodes can replace fast recovery diodes (FREDs) for improved switching losses or increased operating frequency; and aluminium silicon carbide (AlSiC) base plates can replace standard copper base plates for reduced weight and extended lifetime against wide temperature cycles.

Samples are available immediately. Prices range from $16.98 to $36.78 in quantities of 1K to 5K.