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Technical Features

September 2016
Solar Inverter Design

Figure 1: Replacing a SJ with a SiC MOSFET, switching loss decreases significantly

Due to the ever-increasing demand for a clean and renewable source of energy, installing solar systems has accelerated significantly in the last decade. Contemporary solar applications require very highly efficient, power-dense and lightweight grid-tied inverters. Traditionally, IGBT has been the device of
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Date:
05/03/2020
Energy conservation and reduction in CO2-emissions are key factors in mitigating global warming and preserving our future environment. These positive trends are leading to wider usage of power semiconductors in energy conversion systems supplying the rapidly growing global energy demand. IGBT (Insulated Gate Bi
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Date:
09/29/2016
Smaller, smarter, and more powerful are market trends for low-power switched-mode power supply (SMPS) applications. Smaller requires the SMPS to have a more compact form factor – and, thus higher power density. Smarter requires intelligent system-to-system/system-to-human communication to ensure the systems are
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Date:
09/05/2016
Industrial automation systems are undergoing a revolution to reduce latency and down time. This directly translates to increased profits for factory operators and machine builders.  Dubbed Industry 4.0, this effort will add more intelligence across the factory floor from HMI panels and controllers to communication mo
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Date:
09/05/2016

In response to Google’s Little Box Challenge (LBC), our Virginia Tech team, the Future Energy Electronics Center (FEEC), decided to design a power inverter. As shown below, our design significantly surpassed the LBC specifications. Our final design exhibited a power density of 61.2 W/in3, exceeding the LBC goa
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Date:
09/05/2016
It should come as no surprise to anyone that a the continuing adoption of Digital Power System Management (DPSM) within the communications and computer industries continues to  be driven, in large part, to the high current levels demanded by the sub-20nm ASICs and/or FPGAs that are at the core of their sys
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Date:
09/05/2016
The implementation of the “Smart Grid” is accelerating rapidly.  Once just a vision in eyes of power engineers and utilities, the Smart Grid is swiftly taking shape.  A major driver in realizing a truly smart electrical grid is the adoption of distributed energy resources (DERs).  Grid-connected di
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Date:
09/03/2016
This software, in combination with Rigol oscilloscopes (series DS/MSO2000A, DS/MSO4000 or DS6000) allows customers to set up small test systems, which represent a reasonably priced alternative for measuring switching power supply parameters during the development phase. Switching power supplies are commonly us
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Date:
09/03/2016
In the last few years GaN based devices, both discrete FET’s and MMIC’s, have been released and widely used in high power microwave amplifier systems.  These devices, available from several foundry sources, are typically fabricated on 100mm SiC wafers.  GaN on Si processes are also under consideration, ho
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Date:
09/03/2016
Thermal behavior is important to determining the lifetime performance of electronic system design and the power supply is a critical element in determining that behavior. Heat has a number of effects on a system. The most problematic at a system level is one of long-term reliability. High operating temperatures te
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Date:
09/03/2016
Measuring the resistance of something is a great deal more complicated if that resistance is very small. With bigger resistances, measurements can be as simple as connecting two leads between a digital multi-meter (DMM) and the device under test (DUT) and reading the number. With small resistances, the multitude of
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Date:
09/03/2016