Principal Investigator: Dr. Alan Mantooth
This project’s main focus is to optimize the gate driving techniques for high-voltage Silicon Carbide (SiC) power devices. In particular, the future goal is to optimize the board layout and performance for the 10 kV SiC MOSFETs, which are in development and have been tested in some literature studies. The capability of commercially available gate drivers do not meet the requirements needed to efficiently drive SiC devices at the 10kV voltage level. However, the use of high-voltage SiC devices in power electronics is increasing. This calls for the development of research techniques and growth in this area. Thus, this project aims to develop and optimize a gate driver board for the 10 kV SiC MOSFET with the goal of optimizing the performance, cost, and size. The scope of this project will include investigation of the main issues inhibiting the development of SiC device gate drivers, such as isolation, dv/dt and di/dt, EMI tolerance, and protection. The small collection of research which analyzes the performance and characterizes the high-voltage SiC MOSFET is used to determine the gate driver’s needs, in addition to analysis of the switching performance using a Double Pulse Test (DPT) setup in the National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission (NCREPT). The variations in the device’s operation with regards to load conditions and temperature are considered. Ongoing research and industry needs are considered in the optimization of the gate driver board design. Multiple PCBs will be fabricated and tested with a variety of high-voltage SiC devices. The design cycle will consist of both simulated and physical testing, including the comparison between theoretical results and experimental results. The development of the testbed will serve as a standard for future research projects in this area. The 1.2 kV to 1.7 kV SiC devices and the techniques for driving them will be investigated and optimized, then the 10 kV device will be considered with the additional requirements with the increased voltage levels.