Silicon Carbide Inverters Offer A Lot To Railcar Users
Mitsubishi Electric is launching SiC power modules which should enable more compact, energy-efficient and quieter railcar systems.
The firm’s next-generation traction inverter system incorporates large-capacity SiC power modules.
Mitsubishi Electric says that railcar systems fitted with the traction inverter will achieve 30% energy savings, require less maintenance and emit less noise than conventional silicon power modules. The first commercial application, following a series of ongoing field tests starting January 2012, is expected to be in railcars of Tokyo Metro.
SiC inverter for railcars
Compared to silicon-based power modules used in current traction inverters, the newly developed SiC power module offers a number of important improvements. In addition to 30% reduced power loss in the traction inverter, inverter size and weight have been reduced by 40%.
The new inverter system also enhances the performance of regenerative brakes, which will lead to producing more regenerative electricity. Incorporating two 1,700V and 1,200A SiC chips, the new inverter's high-frequency switching capability also achieves 40% less power loss in the motor. What’s more, the new inverter emits up to 6dB less noise compared to conventional models.
Railways are garnering renewed attention as a means of reduced-carbon transportation. Continued improvements in railcar equipment performance, including Mitsubishi Electric's new inverter system, are expected to lower the environmental impact of railways even further.