Microchip SiC E-Fuse protects EVs
New demonstrator is available in six variants for 400–800V battery systems
To provide BEV and HEV designers with a faster and more reliable high-voltage circuit protection solution, Microchip Technology has developed a SiC-based E-Fuse demonstrator board, available in six variants for 400–800V battery systems and with a current rating up to 30A.
The E-Fuse demonstrator can detect and interrupt fault currents in microseconds, 100–500 times faster than traditional mechanical approaches because of its high-voltage solid-state design, according to the company. The fast response time substantially reduces peak short-circuit currents from tens of kilo-amps to hundreds of amps, which can prevent a fault event from resulting in a hard failure.
“The E-Fuse demonstrator provides BEV/HEV OEM designers with a SiC-based technology solution to jumpstart their development process with a faster, more reliable method for protecting power electronics,” said Clayton Pillion, vice president of Microchip’s SiC business unit. “The E-Fuse solid-state design also alleviates long-term reliability concerns about electromechanical devices because there is no degradation from mechanical shock, arcing or contact bounce.”
With the E-Fuse demonstrator’s resettable feature, designers can package an E-Fuse in the vehicle without the burden of design-for-serviceability constraints. This is said to reduce design complexities and enable flexible vehicle packaging to improve BEV/HEV power system distribution.
A built in Local Interconnect Network (LIN) communication interface enables the configuration of the over-current trip characteristics without the need to modify hardware components, and it also reports diagnostic status.
The E-Fuse demonstrator uses Microchip’s SiC MOSFET technology and PIC microcontrollers’ Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) with a LIN-based interface. The companion components are automotive-qualified and yield a lower part count and higher reliability over a discrete design.
The E-Fuse board is supported by MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE).