New SiC-based Reference Design For Fast EV Chargers

pfc reference design

Silicon Carbide (SiC) semiconductors are an innovative new option for power electronic designers looking to improve system efficiency, smaller form factor and higher operating temperature in products covering industrial, medical, mil-aerospace, aviation, and communication market segments.

30kW Three-phase PFC Reference design

Leveraging Silicon Carbide (SiC) diodes and MOSFETS, Microsemi has launched a new scalable 30-kilowatt (kW), three-phase Vienna power factor correction (PFC) topology reference design. Developed in collaboration with North Carolina State University (NCSU), the scalable, user-friendly solution is ideally suited for fast electric vehicle (EV) charging and other high power automotive and industrial applications.

SiC technology allows the design to provide customers with more efficient switching as well as high avalanche/repetitive unclamped inductive switching (UIS) and high short-circuit withstand ratings, the company noted.


“As the automotive market transitions toward more hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and battery electric cars, SiC allows for better efficiency, resulting in better mileage. This continues to drive high demand for these SiC devices in our portfolio, as well as our other high-reliability product offerings,” said Leon Gross, vice president and business unit manager for Microsemi’s Discrete and Power Management group. “After successfully releasing our SiC MOSFET and diode product portfolio over the past few years, our new three-phase three-switch three-level PFC reference design is a concrete example of how to leverage these parts in demanding applications that showcase its ruggedness, high performance and overall value.”

The reference design includes design files for use with the company’s SiC diodes and MOSFETS, open source digital control software and a user guide.

Reliable AC Charging Cables/Controllers For Electric Vehicles

The company claims that the topology offers advantages over single-phase PFC and two-level, six-switch boost pulse width modulated (PWM) rectifier designs, which include operation in continuous conduction mode with extremely low distortion, reduced switching losses on power devices of approximately 98 percent for high efficiency and a compact form factor compared to Si/IGBT solutions.

Additional benefit of the design is it also offers a detailed 3-D mechanical and thermal design with an integrated fan and cooling channel to reduce thermal resistance and total system size.

Its printed circuit board (PCB) layout was developed with considerations for safety, current stress, mechanical stress and noise immunity.

The reference design package features ready-to-use hardware and verified open source software to reduce the technical risk of high power switching designs while accelerating product time to market.

Key applications:

In addition to its suitability for fast EV/HEV chargers and high power three-phase power supplies in the automotive and industrial markets, the new active three-phase PFC reference design can also be used in medical, aerospace, defense and data center markets.

Microsemi’s new Vienna PFC reference design and SiC solutions will be showcased at PCIM. Microsemi’s PFC reference design is available now.

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