Silicon Carbide Applications
Many manufacturers are charging forward in using SiC in applications such as electric vehicles, solar energy systems, and data centers. These efficiency-oriented systems all result in high voltages and high temperatures. We're seeing a significant global push to implement SiC over other materials in an effort to reduce carbon emissions caused by power inefficiencies at higher voltages. Although cutting-edge technologies such as electric vehicles and solar energy are pioneering the utilization of SiC, we expect to see more legacy industries follow suit soon.
SiC has become popular in the automotive sector as a result of the industry's demand for high quality, reliability, and efficiency. SiC can answer high voltage demands with prowess. Silicon carbide has the potential to increase electric vehicle driving distances by increasing the overall system efficiency, especially within the inverter system, which increases the vehicle's overall energy conservation while reducing the size and resultant weight of battery management systems.
Goldman Sachs even predicts that utilizing silicon carbide in electric vehicles can reduce EV manufacturing cost and cost of ownership by nearly $2,000 per vehicle. SiC also optimizes EV fast-charging processes, which typically operate in the kV range, where it can reduce overall system loss by almost 30%, increase power density by 30%, and reduce the component count by 30%. This efficiency will allow fast charging stations to be smaller, faster, and more cost effective.
In the solar industry, SiC-enabled inverter optimization also plays a large role in efficiency and cost savings. Utilizing silicon carbide in solar inverters increases the system's switching frequency by two to three times that of standard silicon. This switching frequency increase allows for a reduction in the circuit's magnetics, resulting in considerable space and cost savings. As a result, silicon carbide-based inverter designs can be nearly half the size and weight than that of a silicon-based inverter. Another factor that encourages solar manufacturers and engineers to use SiC over other materials, such as gallium nitride, is its robust durability and reliability. Silicon carbide's reliability enables solar systems to achieve the stable longevity they need to operate continuously for over a decade.