UT Power Engineering Laboratory - "Powering the Future"

Silicon Carbide Power Electronics For Utility Application


Madhu S. Chinthavali
Dr. Leon M. Tolbert


Silicon carbide power electronics devices have superior characteristics compared to conventional silicon devices. The use of these devices will likely revolutionize the future power electronics industry. Various Silicon carbide devices have been developed to integrate with power systems to improve the system performance. This project involves modeling and design of silicon carbide devices and the study of device benefits at the system level. Gate turn-off thyristors are investigated in a HVDC system. The modern voltage source based converter technology has been implemented to study the effect of silicon carbide GTO thyristor in a HVDC system. The device loss model has been developed based on the device physics and device operation. The conduction and switching losses of the device have been simulated in various operating conditions and for both silicon and silicon carbide. The project focuses on the comparison between silicon and silicon carbide devices in terms of efficiency, costs, operating temperature and thermal management, and the corresponding effect on system performance.


Matlab 6.1, Simulink, PSCAD 4.01.


Fig 1. Device Simulation for J=200 A/Cm2, V= 5000V

Fig 2. Switching Losses of SiC GTO Thyristor

Related publications and presentations

B. Ozpineci, L. M. Tolbert, S. K. Islam, M. Chinthavali, "Comparison of Wide Bandgap Semiconductors for Power Applications,"
10th European Conference on Power Electronics and Applications - EPE 2003, September 2-4, 2003, Toulouse, France.

B. Ozpineci, L. M. Tolbert, S. K. Islam, M. Chinthavali, "Wide Bandgap Semiconductors for Utility Applications,"
IASTED International Conference on Power and Energy Systems (PES 2003), February 24-26, 2003, Palm Springs, California, pp. 317-321.

"Silicon Carbide for Utility Application"

Contact Information
Contact Information

Min H. Kao Engineering Building