Power Performance Comparison of SiC-IGBT and Si-IGBT Switches in a Three-Phase Inverter for Aircraft Applications

Abdalgader I. A. S. , Kivrak S. , Özer T.

Micromachines, vol.13, no.2, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/mi13020313
  • Title of Journal : Micromachines
  • Keywords: Aircraft applications, High-speed switching, Microcontroller, Si-IGBT, SiC-IGBT, Three-phase inverter


© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.The converters used to integrate the ground power station of planes with the utility grid are generally created with silicon-insulated gate bipolar transistor (Si-IGBT)-based semiconductor technologies. The Si-IGBT switch-based converters are inefficient, oversized, and have trouble achieving pure sine wave voltages requirements. The efficiency of the aircraft ground power units (AGPU) can be increased by replacing existing Si-IGBT transistors with silicon carbide (SiC) IGBTs because of the physical constraints of Si-IGBT switches. The primary purpose of this research was to prove that the efficiency increase could be obtained in the case of using SiC-IGBTs in conventional AGPU systems with the realized experimental studies. In this study, three different experimental systems were discussed for this purpose. The first system was the traditional APGU system. The other two systems were single-phase test (SPT) and three-phase inverter systems, respectively. The SPT system and three-phase inverter systems were designed and implemented to compare and make analyses of Si-IGBTs and SiC-IGBTs performance. The efficiency and detailed hard switching behavior comparison were performed between the 1200-V SiC-IGBT-and 1200-V Si-IGBT-based experimental systems. The APGU system and Si-IGBT modules were examined, the switching characteristic and efficiency of the system were obtained in the first experimental study. The second experimental study was carried out on the SPT system. The single-pulse test system was created using Si-IGBTs and SiC-IGBTs switches in the second experimental system. The third experiment included a three-phase-inverter-based test system. The system was created with Si-IGBTs and SiC-IGBTs to compare the two different switch-based inverters under RL loads. The turning off and turning on processes of the IGBT switches were examined and the results were presented. The Si-IGBT efficiency was 77% experimentally in the SPT experimental system. The efficiency of the third experimental system was increased up to 95% by replacing the old Si transistor with a SiC. The efficiency of the three-phase Si-IGBT-based system was 86% for the six-switch case. The efficiencies of the SiC-IGBT-based system were increased to around 92% in the three-phase inverter system experimentally. The findings of the experimental results demonstrated that the SiC-IGBT had a faster switching speed and a smaller loss than the classical Si-IGBT. As a result of the experimental studies, the efficiency increase that could be obtained in the case of using SiC-IGBTs in conventional AGPU systems was revealed.