Baseless SiC modules boost aircraft power efficiency

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By Nick Flaherty

Clean Sky, a joint European Commission (EC) and industry consortium, has developed the first aerospace-qualified baseless modules using silicon carbide MOSFEts adn diodes  for higher efficiency aircraft power conversion.

The three module families developed by Microchip a part of the consortium use a mix of 1200V silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs and 1600V diodes on a modified substrate as well as Trench4Fast silicon IGBTs. Topologies vary from phase leg to boost chopper and a full bridge.

The  BL1, BL2 and BL3 baseless power modules are intended for use in high reliability power systems such as high efficiency AC-DC and DC-AC converters as well as motor control.

The modules are available as 75A and 145A silicon carbide MOSFET, 50A as IGBT, and 90A as rectifier diode outputs. The modules use a strong substrate that avoids the need for a metal baseplate, making the modules 40 percent lighter ad 10 percent cheaper for power from 100W to 10kW.

The modules are all the same height so they can be easily connected in a three-phase bridge and other topologies to achieve higher-performing power converters and inverters. They have low-profile, low-inductance packaging with power and signal connectors that designers can solder directly on printed circuit boards, helping to speed development and increase reliability.

The BL1, BL2, and BL3 families of modules meet all mechanical and environmental compliance guidelines set forth in RTCA DO-160G, the “Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment,” Version G (August 2010). RTCA is the industry consortium that develops consensus on critical aviation modernization issues.

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