An Intelligent Multi-Level Voltage Gate Driving System for Semiconductor Power Devices

Description:

Technology # 19-27

 

 

 

This invention enables the use of high-voltage Silicon Carbide (SiC) power MOSFETs. These devices provide various benefits such as high blocking voltages, high temperature operation, high frequency operation and low conduction and switching losses. However, with their fast switching transients come various challenges that can be detrimental to the device or system. Thus, this active gate driving system is used to provide a great level of control over the slew rates of the device. The voltage level can be optimized by the user to reduce slew rates without increasing the energy losses and the total turn-off duration by too much. This implementation in a simple voltage buffer topology also removes the need to physically alter the circuit, such as the gate resistor method. That method is time-consuming and is not able to be controlled online. The voltage levels for this driver can be controlled digitally, so that feedback information may be given to the main controller to develop an optimal voltage level and duration for any operating mode.

 

Some Target Application(s):

 

This gate driver topology is beneficial in any power electronics system which desires to increase power density and improve efficiency through the use of Silicon Carbide MOSFETs. For example, automotive dc-dc converters or inverters, grid-connected power converters, and motor drives. Therefore, this method may serve:

 

1. Automotive power electronics

2. Power system applications

3. Army- Navy applications

4. Power inverters

5. Applications in medium and high HVDC

6. Applications encountering large temperature swings

7. Applications requiring high power density

8. Power converters with n-level switches

 

Advantage(s):

 

The new topology has:

1- Simple design and control

2- Effective control over the SiC power device switching transitions, lower gate driver losses.

3- Flexibility to be tuned based on the user’s needs, i.e. speeding up the transient or slowing down the transient.

4- Intelligent algorithm to optimize the performance of the power devices. The energy losses, duration, and the switching speed are balanced with the algorithm.

5- Easy to develop shoot-through protection. The most commonly used method for shoot-through protection is multi-level turn-off. This circuit is also a multi-level turn-off gate driver. No specific auxiliary circuit is needed to develop protection function.

 

All of these advantages of the invented active driving system will boost the commercialization of WBG devices. Conversely, the commercialization of the WBG devices will promote the sales of this invention.

 

Technology:

 

This invention is a voltage-mode gate driver that simply implements multi-level voltage control.  

 __________________________________________

This invention/technology is available for licensing.

For interested parties seeking further information, feel free to contact:

Mark Allen Lanoue

Technology Manager / Tech Ventures

University of Arkansas

(479) 575-7243

malanoue@uark.edu

 

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Lanoue
Technology Manager
University of Arkansas
479-575-7243
malanoue@uark.edu
Inventors:
Homer Mantooth
Shuang Zhao
Audrey Dearien
Keywords:
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