WBG-based Power Module for EV Traction Drives


The main focus of this work is the design and test of a power converter using WBG components. However, in an actual converter, the potential advantages of SiC semiconductor devices are not fully realized [1-4]. This has been a problem since SiC semiconductor devices do not yet have very good high temperature gate drivers available and at low cost. Thus, this type of semiconductor device provides for the design of power converters capable of higher power applications in a smaller size converter but at the same time it provides for new challenges in the design of the converters.


Functional Block Diagram a SiC Power Converter

The first step would be to continue design and evaluation on the Gate Driver IC developed previously in order to integrate as many board level circuits into the IC as possible. The second step is to continue design and testing of the isolated power supply IC. The third step is the continuation of switching transient overvoltage modeling. The fourth step is the development of the junction temperature monitoring for SiC based power converters. This fourth step provides for a lifetime enhancement and better reliability of the power converter. The fifth step is the integration of the work done on the previous steps.

How WBG Can Help

WBG power electronics in EVs will result in reduced thermal management requirements and ultimately higher reliability of components that will result in lowering the cost of EVs.

Personnel Involved

  • Daniel Merced
  • Wen Zhang
  • Jeff Dix


[1] M. A. Huque, S. K. Islam, L. M. Tolbert, and B. J. Blalock, “A 200°C universal gate driver integrated circuit for extreme environment applications,” IEEE Trans. on Power Electronics, vol. 27, no. 9, pp. 4153–4162, Sept. 2012.
[2] C. J. Cass, Y. Wang, R. Burgos, T. P. Chow, F. Wang, and D. Boroyevich,“Evaluation of SiC JFETs for a three-phase current-source rectifier with high switching frequency,” in Proc. Appl. Power Electron. Conf. Expo., 2007, pp. 345–351.
[3] I. Josifovic, J. Popovic-Gerber, J.A. Ferreira, “Improving SiC JFET switching behavior under influence of circuit parasitics,” in IEEE Trans. Power Electronics, vol. 27, no. 8, Aug. 2012, pp. 3843-3854.
[4] Z. Zhang, W. Zhang, F. Wang, L. M. Tolbert, B. J. Blalock, “Analysis of the switching speed limitation of wide band-gap devices in a phase-leg configuration,” in Proc. IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and exposition, 15-20 Sept. 2012, pp. 3950-3955.