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Mitsubishi Electric steams ahead with first SiC device for trains

The silicon carbide modules will be incorporated in type 1000 railcars of the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
Mitsubishi Electric has commercialised and delivered railcar auxiliary power supply systems that incorporate what it says is the world's first SiC power modules for use in operating trains.

Systems now being installed for test operation in new Type 1000 railcars of Tokyo Metro's Ginza Line subway are scheduled to enter commercial operation in June.

Auxiliary power supply systems provide electricity to air conditioners and lighting inside railcars.

Compared to Mitsubishi Electric's existing system incorporating silicon power modules, the new system achieves 30 percent less power loss, is 20 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter. It also reduces transformer noise by 4dB due to a 35 percent improvement in the distortion rate of output voltage waveforms.

Compared to silicon, SiC helps to reduce size and weight through lowered power loss and higher energy efficiency, as well as smaller power module radiators.

Mitsubishi Electric has developed a variety of SiC power module applications, including the first large-voltage SiC railcar inverters for DC600V/750V power lines, which were launched in October 2011 and incorporated in Tokyo Metro's Ginza Line Type 01 railcars in February 2012.

Also, SiC railcar inverters developed for DC1500V power lines were launched in November 2012 and installed in Tokyo Metro's Tozai Line Type 15000 railcars beginning in January 2013.

The new SiC auxiliary power supply system incorporates technologies Mitsubishi Electric developed for SiC inverters.

The company is also developing total railway energy solutions for enhanced energy management of railcars, including the new SiC auxiliary power supply systems, as well as stations, rail yards and train lines.

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