November 2, 2020

Silicon Carbide for the Success of Electric Vehicles

Silicon Carbide (SiC) is an innovative technology that will replace silicon in many applications. The idea of using SiC for electric vehicles (EVs) was born when efforts were made to increase the efficiency and range of such vehicles, while reducing the weight and cost of the entire vehicle and thus increasing the power density of control electronics.hslabrasive

Power electronics for EVs can effectively be enhanced with Silicon carbide solutions that meet design parameters and make an essential contribution to system performance and long-term reliability.

Silicon Carbide (SiC) devices are increasingly used in high-voltage power converters with strict requirements regarding size, weight, and efficiency because they offer a number of attractive characteristics when compared with commonly used silicon (Si). The on-state resistance and switching losses are considerably lower, and SiC provides about 3× more thermal conductivity than silicon, allowing faster heat dissipation from components. This is important because when Si-based devices become smaller in terms of area, it becomes more difficult to extract the heat generated by electrical conversion processes, and SiC dissipates the heat better.

Many OEMs have announced billions of dollars’ worth of investment in EVs, which is also strong due to restrictions on CO2 emissions. Key steps will be taken in the coming years, and we will see a higher percentage of EVs on the road.

This will require improvements in factors such as affordability, regulations, and technological advances. An EV is estimated to be 60% efficient in transforming battery energy through electric motors. Compared to conventional internal combustion engines, this is already a great achievement.

However, squeezing out even more efficiency is high up on engineers’ priority lists, simply because it directly translates into longer ranges and/or smaller batteries and thus lower costs — two factors where most EVs cannot compete with conventional cars yet.silicon carbide abrasive powder

One of the distinctive features of these cars is the number of high-voltage systems they contain. A high-voltage battery varies from 400 to 800 V, with a number of other electrical systems powering this battery in different ways. These systems include an on-board charger (OBC), a DC/DC converter that serves as a bridge to the 12-V auxiliaries, traction inverters, and the battery management system (BMS) itself.