German power electronics company Semikron has developed two intelligent power-control modules for use in control systems of fuel-cell powered vehicles. The SKAI modules have been assessed by General Motors as being smaller, higher in performance and lower in cost than comparable products, claims Semikron.
Three-phase inverters are employed in the modules to convert DC voltage (from the fuel cell) into AC voltage (to the motor drive) with the additional option of power feedback. The systems have an integrated DSP controller, driver and protection functions, DC-link capacitors, semiconductors, isolation, sensors and liquid cooling. Communication within the vehicle is via CAN bus.
Two versions of the modules have been launched. The IGBT version is designed for 600V/1200V, 500A/400A output current and between 50 and 200 kW of motor power, while the MOSFET module provides 75V/100V/150V, 700A/600A/500A output current and between 3 and 20 kW of motor power.
SKAI uses Semikron’s SKiiP pressure contact technology ensures extended lifetime and thermal cycling capability. Unlike soldered connections, pressure contacts are not sensitive to impact, vibration and high ambient temperatures and provide direct heat transfer to the heat sink.