Sunday, February 25, 2024

5kW Low Voltage Electric Traction Inverter Reference Design Kit

By Akanksha Sondhi Gaur

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Discover how ST Microelectronics’ reference design shapes the future of cleaner and more efficient transportation with its cutting-edge technology, precision control, and robust power management. 

Electric traction inverters play a pivotal role in the modern world of transportation and sustainable energy solutions. These devices are essential for electric vehicles, trains, trams, and electrically-powered transportation systems. They are responsible for converting direct current (DC) from batteries or power sources into alternating current (AC) that drives the electric motors, enabling efficient and precise control of vehicle speed and performance. As the world increasingly shifts towards electrified transportation to reduce emissions and combat climate change, the importance of electric traction inverters cannot be overstated. They contribute significantly to electric mobility’s efficiency, performance, and environmental benefits, making them a critical technology in the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable transportation sector.

This versatile and efficient electric traction inverter reference design SL-TTM001V1 by ST Microelectronics can deliver 5kW of power for an automotive drivetrain at the standard low-speed electric vehicle battery voltage of 48V. The design features an automotive SPC5 MCU with a Simple Field Oriented Control (FOC) library to control a programmable L9907 gate driver for three-phase synchronous motors, with fault monitoring and diagnostics capabilities. The power is delivered through 36 STripFET F7 automotive-grade power MOSFETs arrayed on an insulated metal substrate (IMS) for superior thermal dissipation. Bus link capacitors ensure a more stable supply input, and sensing elements provide the necessary motor current feedback information for effective motor control. The Insulated Metal Substrate (IMS) is a highly efficient cooling solution that is the foundation for a robust power management system.

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The IMS accommodates 36 STH315N10F7 power MOSFETs in H²PAK-6 packaging, ensuring efficient power distribution. It allows precise current sensing through optional three-shunt resistors and includes three NTCs for thermal protection against overheating. The driving stage utilises the AEC-Q100 qualified L9907 three-phase gate driver for reliable motor control. Full diagnostics via SPI enable real-time monitoring, while current sense amplifiers enhance measurement precision. Integrated protection features encompass overvoltage, undervoltage, overcurrent, VDS drop monitoring, and overtemperature safeguards. The programmable gate current capability adds control flexibility. The control stage employs the SPC560P50L3 32-bit SoC automotive microcontroller, compatible with the ST motor control library, ensuring optimal motor control performance in censored and sensorless modes. Additionally, the IMS offers an interface for various external signals and communication protocols. It is a versatile and highly capable solution for demanding automotive and industrial applications.

ST Microelectronics has thoroughly tested this reference design, which includes a Design Guide, Please visit the company’s website for further information on this reference design. To explore this design in greater detail, click here.

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