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Infineon Announces SiC Module For Streetcars

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CoolSiC power module reduces energy consumption of streetcars by ten percent

Infineon Technologies is launching power semiconductors with CoolSiC MOSFET and .XT technology in the XHP 2 package -which it says is tailored specifically to the requirements of rail services including trams and streetcars.

The XHP 2 power module from Infineon has already been used in a joint field test conducted by Siemens Mobility and Stadtwerke München (SWM).

An Avenio streetcar in Munich was equipped with these power modules and tested in passenger service for a year, covering around 65,000 km. Siemens Mobility concluded that this use of power semiconductors based on SiC had made it possible to reduce the energy consumption of streetcars by ten percent. At the same time, it was also possible to significantly reduce engine noise during operation.

“Innovative semiconductor solutions for rail technology are an important driver for green mobility. The successful field test with streetcars in Munich demonstrates the benefits of SiC technology for manufacturers, rail operators, and residents,” said Peter Wawer, president of Infineon's Industrial Power Control Division. The tests were carried out under the European development and research project PINTA and are part of the extensive European research and innovation initiative Shift2Rail, which aims to create a sustainable European rail system through targeted investments.

Implementing SiC in power modules for traction propulsion systems can also pose major challenges: In addition to an efficient and very robust SiC chip, packages that allow high switching speeds are required, as well as interconnection technologies that enable a long service life. These are precisely the features offered by Infineon's power module: Since trains accelerate and decelerate frequently, the power cycles for semiconductors in rail applications are very demanding. The constant temperature fluctuations stress the interconnection technology. Infineon's .XT technology provides a solution to this challenge. The technology significantly improves the lifetime during power cycles and has been used successfully for years in similarly challenging applications such as wind turbines.

In Infineon's XHP 2 power module, CoolSiC MOSFET chips enable low conversion losses while maintaining high reliability. They are the basis for increased energy efficiency and are already used today in many applications like photovoltaic systems. Infineon's XHP 2 package features low stray inductance, a symmetrical and scalable design, and high current capacity. As a result, the package is ideally suited for SiC.

Thus, in addition to the established application areas of photovoltaics and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, SiC MOSFETs now also provide significantly more energy efficiency in the area of rail-bound vehicles.

Infineon will host the “Industrial Wide-Bandgap Developer Forum” for design and development engineers as a livestream on March 31, 2022. During the event, Stefan Schönewolf from Siemens Mobility GmbH will talk about SiC in rail vehicles.

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