Energy Efficiency: The Commercial Pull for SiC Devices
As SiC devices begin to become commercially available, it is becoming clear that electrical efficiency improvement is one of the key drivers for their adoption. For RF applications, SiC MESFETs have the ability to be easily linearized via digital pre-distortion to offer a 47% improvement in efficiency. In broadband WiMax applications, SiC MESFETs offer more than double the efficiency versus using GaAs MESFETs. SiC Schottky diodes are allowing up to a 25% reduction in losses in power supplies for computers and servers when used in the power factor correction circuit. For motor control, SiC Schottkys allow up to a 33% reduction in losses, as demonstrated for a 3 HP motor drive. Even higher efficiencies can be obtained when the Schottkys are combined with a SiC switch. A 400 W boost converter has been demonstrated using a SiC MOSFET and Schottky diode, operating at >200° C, with an extremely high efficiency of 98%. These improvements in electrical efficiency can have a significant impact in reducing overall electricity consumption worldwide, impacting virtually every aspect of electrical usage, ranging from information technology to motor control, with potential savings of $35 billion/yr.
Robert P. Devaty, David J. Larkin and Stephen E. Saddow
J. W. Palmour, "Energy Efficiency: The Commercial Pull for SiC Devices", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 527-529, pp. 1129-1134, 2006