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Posted on 16 November 2019

ABB’s new RC-IGCT platform

 

ABB Semiconductors has developed a new technology platform for Reverse Conducting Integrated Gate Turn-off Thyristor (RC-IGCT) in two voltage levels, 4,500 V and 6,500 V.

The main advantages of the devices are the very low on-state losses provided by the thyristor structure, the negligible turn-on losses in the semiconductor and the high reliability of the devices. The technology supports profound changes to the gate circuit, enabling much improved turn-off currents. Additionally, the HPT+ IGCT cell leads to increased performance at high junction temperatures. The changes to the package led to a great reduction of the thermal resistance as well as the inherent capacity for handling surge currents. The gate circuit impedance contact was moved to the periphery of the device

for a greater area consumption and the centering tolerance of the gate contact on the wafer was much improved. Thus, despite the new contact has a larger diameter, the space consumption for the gate infrastructure could be reduced instead of increased.

The behavior of the device at low forward current and high cell voltage over the whole temperature range is important. The switching behavior can be improved by the increase of the diode thickness. Additionally, it is particularly important for RC-IGCTs to optimize the diode thickness due to the integration of the switch and the diode on the same silicon wafer.

In summary, the improvements in wafer technology such as gate circuit impedance and removing thermal bottlenecks, the IGCT performance was improved significantly without increasing the size of the IGCT part.

The new device can be applied for a wide range of applications. An example for the use of the device platform is a Static Compensator (STATCOM) using Multilevel Converter topology (MMC) covering wide range of applications like industry, utility, rail-intertie and renewable applications in the range of 100 MVAr.

The device is an optimal solution for this topology due to significant efficiency improvement compared to an IGBT option.

The picture below shows a Power-Electronic Building Block for STATCOM application containing MMC cells with RC-IGCTs.

Power electronic building block

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