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Katek unveils silicon carbide inverter for residential applications

Katek, a German PV inverter manufacturer, says its 4.6 kW coolcept fleX inverter features silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors from US-based Navitas Semiconductor. It is smaller and weighs less than non-SiC models.

Katek Memmingen GmbH says it is currently manufacturing its 4.6 kW coolcept fleX three-phase inverter with SiC semiconductors from US-based Navitas Semiconductor.

Silicon carbide-based inverters are known to have higher power densities, with less need for cooling and lower overall system costs than traditional inverters. However, defects at the interface between the silicon carbide and the insulating silicon dioxide material could still represent an issue for such devices.

“Navitas’ GeneSiC power devices, based on trench-assisted planar-gate SiC MOSFET technology, can operate at high temperatures and high speeds, resulting in up to 25 C lower case temperature and up to [three times] longer life than competing SiC products,” the two companies said in a joint statement. “Due to their documented 100% proven avalanche capability, 30% longer short-circuit withstand time, and consistent threshold voltage for simple paralleling, GeneSiC MOSFETs are suitable for high-power and fast time-to-market applications.”

The German PV inverter manufacturer said that the 4.6 kW coolcept fleX inverter now includes 16 SiC MOSFETs of the model GeneSiC G3R75MT12.

“These 1,200 V, 75 mΩ-rated devices are arranged in a two-level converter with bi-directional boost converters and an H4-topology for AC voltage output,” said the company.

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The product sheet shows that the coolcept fleX products without SiC semiconductors have an efficiency of 98.0% and European efficiencies ranging from 97.0% to 98.0%. They measure 399 mm x 657 mm x 222 mm and weigh 12 kg. They feature single MPP trackers, with a maximum input power of 6.1 kW per tracker.

The maximum input voltage is 1,000 V and the MPP voltage range is between 250 V and 800 V. The system also features an IP65-rated protection and a cooling system based on a controlled fan.

“By reducing the size and weight of passive components due to increased switching frequency, the Katek unit outperforms older silicon-based inverters in terms of size and weight,” the manufacturer said.

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Source: pv magazine