Industrial and academic partners are developing a battery inverter which can be grid connected under normal operation but can also use nearby renewables generators to form an island grid, for whole-area uninterrupted power supply.
CREE has developed a new MOSFET that could be suitable for silicon-carbide-based string inverters above 10 kW in size. The U.S. manufacturer says switching losses are 20% lower with the new transistor than with common silicon carbide MOSFETs, and claims that the product reduces conduction losses by 50%, to offer potential power-density growth of 300%.
GlobalWafers, a Taiwanese wafer manufacturer, will add 150mm silicon carbide to its products, manufactured from bulk SiC crystals produced by GT Advanced Technologies, under a new multi-year agreement to “forge a new source of supply of silicon carbide wafers.”
Alencon’s silicon carbide-based String Power Optimizers and Transmitters enable the repowering of solar plants which need to replace 600 V inverters with newer 1,000 V or 1,500 V gear, or for project owners who wish to maximize electricity generation at aging and imperfect facilities with creative engineering techniques.
The sizeable rooftop array will feature latest-generation inverters. The project planners claim using 1500 V technology on a commercial rooftop allowed them to drive down costs 10-15%.
Carbon clusters of a few nanometers in size could be responsible for the defects affecting the thermal stability of SiCs. The defective carbon accumulations arise during the oxidation of silicon carbide to silicon dioxide under high temperatures.
In pursuit of a lower levelized cost of energy for the next generation of inverters, some manufacturers have turned to acquiring considerably more expensive semiconductors. While this may sound like a misstep at first, the trick could be pulled off — though not easily, and not always — yet.
Inverter manufacturers tapped into the major theme of digitization in their product presentations at this year’s Smarter E event in Munich – of which Intersolar Europe is a part of. The solutions deploy smart software solutions for maximizing self-consumption, O&M provision and enable hybrid architectures across all three market segments.
The new inverter was developed in the HV-SiC project under the Future Electricity Grids funding program financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The inverter can regulate power currents of up to 10-15 kV more than ten times higher than regular silicon inverters. Fraunhofer says this makes new system architectures for power grids and plants conceivable.
The Danish company says that its collaboration with GE will allow it to become the world’s leading provider of silicon-carbide power modules.
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