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Power switches save up to 30% energy consumption

Posted: 27 Jan 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power switch? electric motor drive? IGBT? power supply?

IGBT RC-Drives

Infineon Technologies AG rolls the 600V IGBT RC (Reverse Conducting)-Drives family of power switching devices for use in high energy efficiency electric motor drives of home appliances. The devices enable cost-effective design of variable speed electric motors, and claim to cut the energy consumption of appliances by up to 30 percent in many applications.

Variable speed motor drives in such appliances as washing machines, refrigerator compressors, inverterized air conditioners, and dishwashers use electronic controls and a switching power supply to obtain the best efficiency under different usage conditions. The IGBT RC-Drives family integrates Infineon's Trenchstop IGBT technology and a free-wheeling diode into a single die resulting in a device with low conduction losses and package shrink compared to competitor solutions. This in turn allows for a reduction in the system circuit board area and heat sink size, plus can reduce the overall motor drive system cost by up to 10 percent.

"With increased consumer interest in energy efficient appliances, which can lower recurring energy bills and in some regions qualify for purchase rebates, our customers are looking for breakthrough devices that allow cost reductions and innovation in design that will set them apart from competitors," said Andreas Urschitz, VP and general manager, industrial and multimarket division at Infineon. "This perfectly matches our goal of providing solutions that address the global challenge for energy efficiency."

The IGBT RC-Drives family is available in 4-, 6-, 10- and 15A current classes in DPAK (TO-252) and IPAK (TO-251) package types, both measuring 2.3mm x 6.5mm x 7.22mm. This enables the design of variable speed drives from 30W up to 2kW in a small compact package, where competitor suppliers in this application segment can only offer the larger DPAK (TO-263) or TO-220 packages with dimensions of 9mm x 10mm x 4.5mm. By optimizing circuit board layout for the Infineon 15A device, a manufacturer of electric motor drives for home appliances can reduce the area needed for IGBTs by up to 50 percent. This reduces material costs and provides flexibility in design.

The family has been optimized with a low saturation voltage Vce(sat) of 1.65V, which is suited for switching frequencies typically seen in home appliances of 4kHz to 15kHz, since at these frequencies, conduction losses are the most dominant losses. This prevents thermal issues even when using the highest current devices under full load conditions. Additionally, low EMI levels are exhibited thanks to Infineon's Trenchstop IGBT technology for its soft switching behavior. EMI measurements have shown a 10 percent improvement in EMI behavior over the closest competitor and in a kitchen environment where there are many electronic devices this is an important feature.

The IGBT RC-Drives family, which offers low conduction losses and area space saving is available in 600V voltage class and is available in high-volume quantities to order. For sample quantities, pricing ranges from $0.30 (600V, 4A) to $0.54 (600V, 15A).

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