Efficient IGBT Gate Drive without external sensors

SEMIKRON introduces first IGBT driver with isolated digital sensor signals for high-power applications

© 2015 SEMIKRON International GmbH

Efficient IGBT Gate Drive without external sensors © 2015 SEMIKRON International GmbH

Regenerative converters in the megawatt class are driven by two trends. Increasing the output power and reduction of cost. SKYPER Prime is an IGBT driver for Semitrans 10 and PrimePACK modules. Apart from control and protection functions, the IGBT driver offers galvanically isolated voltage and temperature signals.

The absence of external power supplies, isolation or acquisition boards saves up to 10% of the system cost. The sensor signals are available as PWM and allow direct connection to the controller. Extra A/D conversion, reducing the accuracy, is omitted. Thanks to the integrated over-temperature and over-voltage turn-off in connection with the no-tolerance fault management, the IGBT module can be safely operated at its performance limits.

SKYPER Prime drives Semitrans 10 package modules up to 1400A and 1700V. The operating area (SOA) is specially tailored to the respective module and allows an increase in output power of up to 30% compared to existing solutions. This saves on costly safety measures, while providing significant performance advantages. To maximise performance, a new concept for parallel connection has been developed. Accurate switching behaviour due to digital signal processing, fault management for parallel operation and symmetrical signal distribution provide for maximum output power.

The new SEMIKRON ASIC chipsets integrated achieve an MTBF rate > 3 million hours at full load. Power supply, protection and driving functions are included in the ASIC chipset, external output stages ensure optimal thermal decoupling. The isolated information is transmitted via digital signals and is much more robust, even at high dV/dt. Hence, the driver operates safely even up to 4kV interference on the signal lines. The SoftOff function and the VCE monitoring protect against over voltage in case of a short circuit without the tolerance constraints of clamping circuits. Thanks to the short pulse suppression and an interface ground concept the usual high EMC stability of the SKYPER family is achieved.

With the integrated sensor signal processing, available to the user as digital signals and the ease of paralleling the SKYPER Prime offers the optimal IGBT driver solution for high-power applications in the megawatt range.

Source: SEMIKRON International GmbH