Power Modules for Fast Switching Motor Drive Applications

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 8:13am


Most of the current high power semiconductors are optimized for switching frequencies between 4 and 8 kHz. Today, however, more and more applications require frequencies of 10 kHz and higher. New power modules specifically designed for higher frequencies can now fill that gap.

For a powerful, reliable and cost effective motor drive, the right choice of power semiconductors is very important. Most of the current high power motor inverters use IGBTs (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) for the power switching, which are built in Trench Field Stop technology. The Trench Field Stop IGBT is designed for motor drive applications with a typical switching frequency of up to 4 kHz. At higher frequencies, the Planar Cell Field Stop components are the optimal choice. This technology seems to be the favourite for nearly all 1200V motor drive applications using switching frequencies above 8 kHz.

This article provides a comparison of both technologies, Trench Field Stop and Planar Cell Field Stop Technology, and explains what is best for fast switching motor drive applications.

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