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Power Electronics Building Block (PEBB) Design based on 1.7 kV SiC MOSFET Modules

Power Electronics Building Block with DC-fed auxiliary power supply
Fig. 1. Power Electronics Building Block with DC-fed auxil-iary power supply
The power electronics building blocks (PEBBs) concept as an approach to constructing modular converters was originally proposed in 1997 by the Office of Naval Research. It is defined as a universal power processor, and is a systematic methodology which features modular configurations, scalable voltage and current ratings, and low inventory and maintenance costs.

Silicon-carbide (SiC) metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) have begun to gradually demonstrate their superior performance over silicon insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) in terms of higher breakdown voltage, faster switching speed, lower switching loss, and higher operating temperature. It is crucial to understand critical aspects in developing medium-voltage (MV) PEBBs based on SiC MOSFET modules. Most of the design concerns regard their high voltage and fast transience, as well as device protection, high dV/dt, di/dt, and auxiliary power and control system susceptibility. The motivation of this design work is to address these issues raised by the use of SiC MOSFET modules in MV applications.

This design seeks to address the main issues associated with high switching speed and the high magnitude of voltage and current in MV high-power applications for the purpose of reducing the susceptibility of the PEBB. As a result, high common-mode (CM) noise-rejection power architectures for the gate driver and the auxiliary power supply are developed. CM impedance along the signal propagation path is also well-controlled. In addition, faster protection and sensing and control hardware are also developed to guarantee the normal operation of the PEBB. Overall, technically speaking, a universal SiC MOSFET-based PEBB is able to replace the conventional Si IGBT-based PEBB in the MV high-power domain.

Power Electronics Building Block prototype
Fig. 2. PEBB prototype