Marelli has developed a new platform of 800V Silicon Carbide (SiC) inverters. Marelli presented the platform for the first time at the International VDI Congress “Dritev” (Drivetrain Transmission Electrification in Vehicles), held in Baden Baden, Germany, on 6-7 July.
Due to its excellent performance at high temperature and high voltage—enabling smaller, lighter and more efficient solutions—Silicon Carbide is recognized as a technology of choice for power electronics. Thus, it is particularly suitable for inverters, which convert DC (Direct Current) power derived from batteries to AC (Alternating Current) electric power used in electric vehicles’ motors.
Marelli’s new 800V inverter platform also features an optimized thermal structure, due to innovative structural and cooling channel designs that reduce the thermal resistance between the SiC components themselves and the cooling liquid. This is a critical aspect in high-power applications, where the heat rejection of the power module is significant.
Among the main advantages, the new inverter platform presented by Marelli can extract more energy from the battery at a higher efficiency and secure a significant increase in the driving range of a vehicle. It also ensures faster charging times and better acceleration.
Finally, a smaller and more efficient inverter allows a reduction in battery size which delivers cost, weight and sustainability benefits.
The software for all the inverters in Marelli’s range is developed in-house by the company and is hosted by an Electric Control Unit located in the same inverter case. The software is compliant with AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) standards and specifically customized for the diagnostic standards required by car makers. Functional Safety requirements are compliant to ASIL D (Automotive Safety Integrity Level D) standard.
The new 800 Volt SiC platform completes the inverters range offered by Marelli, resulting from more than ten years of experience, that includes also 400V solutions based both on IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) and Silicon Carbide, and Gallium Nitride (GaN)-based converters in development.
Marelli announced a strategic partnership with US-based GaN commpany Transphorm in 2020.