Journal article

Characterization of 6.5 kV IGBTs for High-Power Medium-Frequency Soft-Switched Applications

Medium voltage high-power applications are usually realized using high voltage semiconductors (3.3 kV and above) operated in the hard switching mode with low switching frequencies (several hundreds of hertz). However, for high-power dc–dc converters employing a transformer for galvanic isolation, it is attractive to increase the switching frequency so that the transformer size can be reduced. An increase of the switching frequency implies an increase of the switching losses, and this has to be mitigated somehow, usually by choice of resonant topologies or soft switching techniques. Main focus of the paper is on the operation of the insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) within a high-power dc–dc LLC resonant converter, in order to explore interactions between semiconductor and circuit properties, which both must be simultaneously considered in order to achieve the best utilisation of a high voltage power semiconductor operating at higher switching frequencies. For these purposes, switching properties of a standard 6.5 kV IGBT are compared with switching properties of two different optimized versions of a 6.5 kV IGBT. Experimental results are included to support theoretical considerations and findings.


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