Chapter 11Applications of Silicon Carbide Devices in Power Systems

11.1 Introduction to Power Electronic Systems

The topic of power electronic systems is both broad and deep, and we will only present an overview in this chapter. Our objective is to consider those systems in which the substitution of silicon carbide devices may produce significant advantages in performance, efficiency, reliability, and/or overall system cost. The discussion will be limited to the basic circuit topology and device requirements, and will not explore second-order effects that are also important for a practical design. For these, the reader is referred to one of the specialty texts on power systems [1], and thence to the literature.

A block diagram of a generic power processing system is shown in Figure 11.1. This system provides an interface between two ports, typically a source of electric power and a load to which electric power is delivered. In the general case, the power processor may consist of three elements: an electronic converter connected to port 1, an electronic converter connected to port 2, and an energy storage element between the two converters. The converters may include one or more power semiconductor devices, along with passive components such as resistors, inductors, and capacitors. The energy storage element between the converters is typically either an inductor or a capacitor. In most cases the power processor is designed to be unidirectional, with power flowing from the source ...

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