Princeton Power Demonstrates Grid-Tied Bi-Directional Power Converter

By CIOReview | Monday, June 22, 2015

FREMONT, CA: A grid-tied bi-directional power converter developed on silicon-carbide (chemical compound of carbon and silicon) has emerged as a major successor to usual silicon in the field of power electronics due to its numerous advantages over it. The demonstration done by Princeton Power Systems, a New Jersey based designer and manufacturer of technology products for energy management, micro grid operations and electrical vehicle charging, was conducted for the commercial purpose use which sustains 100 percent power and has the peak efficiency.

How is it going to beat the conventional silicon in the market?

Silicon-carbide claims to have exceptional advantages over conventional silicon. It can handle higher currents and voltages, can switch faster with lower losses and operate over a broader temperature range. It also results in improvement of power density and conversion efficiency of a commercialized product. These lead to a converter that is smaller, lighter, quieter, more efficient, and with simpler cooling requirements. The power density and conversion efficiency of a commercialized product will be significantly improved over silicon-based converters.

Ken McCauley, President and CEO of Princeton Power Systems says, "This product demonstration shows that silicon-carbide technology can play a role in highly-efficient and cost-effective commercial products in the very near future, and we intend to expand its use to higher power levels and ultimately across our product line."

Jointly developed by USCi and Princeton Power, the firms are planning to launch a 100kW silicon-carbide-based product by 2016 with the specification of CEC weighted efficiency of 97.5 percent in a double-conversion bi-directional architecture and will be compatible with advanced batteries.

“Our JFET and Cascode technology deliver the only standard gate drive SiC switch solution, while having the lowest specific on resistance in the industry. These advantages enable the most cost effective SiC solution in the world," says Chris Dries, President & CEO of USCi.