Delphi Technologies is the first in the industry with volume production of an 800-volt silicon carbide (SiC) inverter—a key component of highly efficient next-generation electric and hybrid vehicles. The new inverter enables electrical systems up to 800 volts, significantly extending electric vehicle (EV) range and halving charging times when compared with today’s state-of-the-art 400-volt systems.
Delphi Technologies 800V SiC Inverter
The technology, which supports multi-voltage platforms, is an evolution of the company’s proven high-voltage inverter and builds on 25 years of vehicle electrification experience.Delphi Technologies 800-volt inverter uses silicon carbide MOSFET semiconductors (silicon carbide-based metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor wide band gap technology). The company recently secured a landmark $2.7-billion customer win for volume production of this technology over eight years with a premier global OEM.
Launch is expected in 2022, initially for a high-performance vehicle operating at up to 800 volts.
A few days ago, the company announced that it is partnering with Cree, a leader in SiC semiconductors, to enable the next generation of EVs to drive longer distances, have faster charging times and improved efficiency. (Earlier post.) Delphi Technologies inverters will utilize Cree’s Wolfspeed silicon carbide-based MOSFETs.
IHS estimates that up to 45% of global vehicle production will be electrified by 2025, with around 46 million electrified vehicles being sold annually, rising to up to 57% by 2030 (around 62 million vehicles annually). Inverters are one of the highest-value electrification components and their efficiency has an industry-changing impact on many aspects of vehicle performance.
Doubling the voltage from today’s typical 400 volts brings a substantial range of benefits, both for the vehicle user and for the vehicle manufacturer. We have designed this technology to simplify vehicle manufacturers’ multi-voltage strategies as they extend their electric and hybrid vehicle ranges.—Richard F. Dauch, chief executive officer, Delphi Technologies
At the heart of the new Delphi Technologies inverter is its patented Viper power switch, which combines high levels of integration with unique double-sided cooling. These critical features allow the company to develop inverters that are 40% lighter and 30% more compact than competitor inverter technologies.
The latest addition to the Viper power switch range replaces conventional silicon with SiC, a high band gap semiconductor that allows very fast switching and can operate at even higher temperatures.
The faster switching alone will allow faster, more compact and lighter motors that offer great efficiency and greater range. That’s in addition to the many benefits of moving to 800 volts.—Richard Dauch
With the new Delphi Technologies’ SiC inverter operating at 800 volts, vehicle engineers now have additional flexibility to optimize other powertrain systems. Options include more range or a smaller battery; ultra-fast charging or smaller, lighter, cheaper cables; and greater harvesting of vehicle kinetic energy when braking, further extending vehicle range.
The new SiC Viper power switch fits into the same inverter package as the current silicon switch, reducing engineering costs associated with a technology change and simplifying the design of multiple vehicle performance options.