NC State University Student Earns Recognition at APEC 2021

Ashish Kumar, NC State University and FREEDM Ph.D. candidate, was recently recognized as an APEC 2021 Technical Lecture and Dialogue Best Presentation Award Winner for his lecture titled, “Performance Evaluation of 10 kV SiC Current Switch Based PWM Current Source Inverter for 4.16 kV Motor Drive Applications”.

What problem does this research help solve and who will benefit? 

This research work will benefit medium voltage motor drive industries in manufacturing efficient power converters. The switching frequency of medium voltage 6.5 kV silicon SCGT-based current source converter motor drives is limited to 420 Hz, which makes the motor drive bulky.  This research proposes a novel high-speed 10 kV reverse-blocking SiC current switch, capable of switching at 10 kHz, which improves the power density of 4.16 kV motor drive significantly. The 10 kV SiC MOSFET chip and the 10 kV SiC diode chip used in this project were fabricated by CREE. The 4.16 kV motor drives are used in cement and steel manufacturing plants, and also in oil and gas compressor applications. Making the drive smaller will free up the costly space in these manufacturing plants. Smaller machinery space will benefit offshore oil and gas production platforms.

Ashish works with NC State ECE Professor Subhashish Bhattacharya, Ph.D., and his research was conducted in the FREEDM lab. According to Dr. Bhattacharya, “This is a very impactful work done for the first time by anyone in the world and shows the potential of SiC devices for MV motor drives in all manufacturing plants, steel mills, railway traction, the oil & gas industry, wind turbines, motor drives with direct coupling to gas turbines, ships, submarines, and many such applications”.

The Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) focuses on the practical and applied aspects of the power electronics business. Their annual conference was held June 14-17, 2021. APEC is considered to be the leading conference for practicing power electronics professionals. The APEC program addresses a broad range of topics in the use, design, manufacture and marketing of all kinds of power electronics equipment. 

Performance Evaluation of 10 kV SiC Current Switch Based PWM Current Source Inverter for 4.16 kV Motor Drive Applications

Ashish Kumar, Subhashish Bhattacharya, Jayant Baliga and Victor Veliadis, Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC), 2021. 

Low switching frequency, absence of both the reverse conduction and the avalanche ruggedness of high voltage silicon IGBTs have limited current source converters’ popularity in medium voltage (MV) power applications. For the first time in this paper, a 10 kV SiC current switch is presented to enable a MV PWM-CSI for 4.16 kV motor drive applications. Electrical and the thermal performance of the 10 kV current switch-based CSI is shown to be reasonably acceptable and close to 10 kV SiC MOSFET based VSI drives at 10 kHz switching. The analysis presented in this paper will open up an opportunity of the SiC technology-based CSI drives, and the designer can take its full advantage to overcome the limitations imposed by the existing silicon and SiC-based VSI motor drives.

For more information, contact Ashish Kumar.