Baseless power module family improves aircraft electrical system efficiency

06-08-2021 | Microchip Technology | Power

Microchip Technology has announced its development with Clean Sky, a joint European Commission (EC) and industry consortium, of the first aerospace-qualified baseless power modules facilitating higher-efficiency, lighter and more compact power conversion and motor drive systems.

Partnering with the company to support aerospace industry goals set by the EC for stricter emission standards that will provide climate neutral aviation by 2050, Microchip’s BL1, BL2, and BL3 family of baseless power modules offers greater efficiency in AC/DC and DC/AC power conversion and generation through the integration of its silicon carbide power semiconductor technology. Forty-per cent lighter than others due to the modified substrate, this innovative design also provides an approximate 10% cost savings over standard power modules that include metal baseplates. These BL1, BL2, and BL3 devices meet all mechanical and environmental compliance guidelines set in RTCA DO-160G, the 'Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment', Version G (August 2010).

The modules are offered in low-profile, low-inductance packaging with power and signal connectors that designers can solder directly on PCBs, serving to expedite development and improve reliability. And, the same height between the modules in the family allows them to be paralleled or connected in a three-phase bridge and other topologies to deliver higher-performing power converters and inverters.

”Microchip’s powerful new modules will help to drive innovation in aircraft electrification and, ultimately, progress toward a future of lower emissions,” said Leon Gross, vice president of Microchip’s discrete products business unit. “This is an enabling technology for the systems ushering in a new era of flight.”

The family incorporates silicon carbide MOSFETs and Schottky Barrier Diodes to maximise system efficiency. In packages providing 100W to more than 10kW of power, the family is offered in various topology options, including phase leg, full-bridge, asymmetric bridge, boost, buck and dual common source. These high-reliability power modules are available in voltage ranges from 600V to 1200V in silicon carbide MOSFETs and IGBTs to 1600V for rectifier diodes.

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