Industry White Paper

Benefits of Designing with Wolfspeed Silicon Carbide (SiC) in Low Voltage Motor Drives

May 07, 2024 by Wolfspeed
Topics Covered
  • Typical Motor Drive Requirements
  • Single-Phase Motor Drive System (4 kW) Case Study
  • Three-phase 25 kW Inverter Thermal Performance Varying Switching Frequency

White Paper Overview

Silicon carbide is enabling a global shift to embedded industrial low voltage motor drives where the drive and motor are combined into one unit resulting in smaller, lower cost and more efficient industrial drives. To support this shift, Wolfspeed evaluated three different power rated drives (4 kW, 11 kW, and 25 kW), replacing traditional silicon IGBTs with silicon carbide MOSFETs and diodes and measured the energy efficiency improvements. Efficiency improvements were also observed when designers reduced the size of heat sinks and passive components, demonstrating the ability of SiC in reducing the system’s physical size and mass. The results confirmed superior efficiency of the drive using silicon carbide devices compared to that seen in designs using traditional silicon components. The results also highlighted silicon carbide’s value proposition at the system level leading to an easier integration of drive and motor.