New Gate Drivers Improve EconoDUAL IGBT Module Performance by 20%

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New gate driver eliminates one in six modules thus substantially reducing system complexity and the involved cost

To improve the performance of multiple parallel EconoDUAL modules by 20% and thereby reduce control complexity and costs related to modules, wiring, hardware and heatsinking, Power Integrations has introduced its new plug-and-play dual-gate drivers called SCALE-iFlex LT. By eliminating one of every six modules from power inverters and converter stacks, the SCALE-iFlex LT is suitable for multiple applications in renewable energy generation and storage, particularly offshore wind turbines in the 3 to 5 MW range. Other applications include power quality, commercial air-conditioning units and medium-voltage drives.

From a single Isolated Master Control (IMC) unit, up to 6 EconoDUAL 3, or equivalent power modules can be connected in parallel, giving a more compact outline than conventional products.

The Module Adapted Gate drivers (MAGs), which fit the footprint of the EconoDUAL module, each feature two SCALE-2 ASICs – one per channel that optimise symmetrical paralleling, efficiency and protection.

Due to the fast turn-on and turn-off of the SCALE-2 ASIC, which features an integrated booster stage, the SCALE-iFlex LT gate driver modules reduce switching losses by three to five per cent. The proprietary Advanced Active Clamping (AAC) protection helps achieve higher DC link voltages. Protection features for short-circuit are also provided. Drivers feature reinforced isolation to 1700 V and may be ordered naked or conformally coated.

“Dynamic and static current sharing is critical for robust operation of modules arranged in parallel. For the same power output, systems using SCALE-iFlex LT require just five parallel modules whereas competitive approaches need six. This substantial saving of cost and complexity is achieved by guaranteeing less than 20 ns of variance in turn-on and turn-off commands between modules and less than 20 A of variance between modules when conducting the rated 600 A. This allows the modules to operate reliably without current derating, which is obligatory with less advanced driver solutions,” said Thorsten Schmidt, product marketing manager at Power Integrations.

The new SCALE-iFlex LT gate drivers are available now from Power Integrations.


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