INVERTER: Mitsubishi Electric Corp has launched a traction inverter system for 1·5 kV DC applications which it says incorporates the first all-silicon carbide power modules using SiC for both transistors and diodes. This reduces power loss, size and weight compared to conventional IGBT power modules or hybrid modules with silicon transistors and SiC diodes.

The switching loss is approximately 55% less than Mitsubishi Electric’s conventional inverters incorporating IGBT power modules, and the amount of regenerated braking energy which can be recovered in increased. This means total energy consumption is reduced by about 30%.

Size and weight are reduced by 65% compared to IGBT power modules and 30% compared to systems with SiC diodes. The number of components is also reduced.

Development has been supported by Japan’s New Energy & Industrial Technology Development Organisation.