GE gets $2.1M for SiC Development from U.S. Army

March 17, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

GE Aviationhas been awarded a $2.1 million contract from the U.S. Army to develop and demonstrate silicon carbide-based power electronics supporting high-voltage next-generation ground vehicle electrical power architecture. GE Aviation's development efforts will benefit from and extend GE's Global Research Center developments in silicon carbide MOSFET technology.

The $2.1 million contract consists of an 18-month development program to demonstrate the benefits of GE's Silicon Carbide MOSFET technology combined with Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices in a 15kW, 28Vdc/600Vdc Bi-directional Converter. The hardware will provide twice the power in less than 50% of the volume of present silicon-based power electronics. In addition, the converters will be able to operate in parallel and be CAN-bus programmable.

"The U.S. Army's implementation of silicon carbide technology for high voltage, more electric ground vehicles, facilitates significant improvements in size, weight and power for high temperature applications," said Vic Bonneau, president of Electrical Power Systems for GE Aviation. "We have multiple silicon carbide based power conversion products in development and continue to invest in this area. Successes to date have led to this new application that will enable the U.S. Army to better manage on-board power and simplify the vehicle cooling architecture. Ultimately, this product will increase mission capability for the warfighter."

The contract is in support of the U.S. ARMY's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) next generation vehicle electrical power architecture leap-ahead technology development. It will result in a technology demonstration in mid-2017.