Arkansas Power Electronics International (APEI) and GaN Systems have announced test results for a gallium nitride power switch based DC-DC boost converter. The converter exploits the ultra-high switching capability of GaN Systems” high power switch to achieve a 1 MHz switching capability. The boost converter was also able to demonstrate over 98.5% efficiency at 5 kW output power. Testing demonstrated turn-on and turn-off transitions of only 8.25 ns and 3.72 ns, respectively.
The co-development of the gallium nitride power switch and boost converter were funded in part by Sustainable Development Technology Canada with the goal of demonstrating the efficiency, performance and reliability of gallium nitride power devices for hybrid and electric vehicles (HEVs and EVs). Other key applications for gallium nitride power devices include high efficiency power supplies, solar inverters and industrial motor drives.
Gallium nitride power switches offer increased system performance advantages over traditional power semiconductor devices when used in power conversion systems.
“Wide bandgap semiconductor technology, such as gallium nitride, enables increased power density for modern power electronic systems,” said Dr. Ty McNutt, Director of Business Development at APEI, “and we are excited to be developing novel power packages and high performance systems around these ultra-high speed devices.”
As new gallium nitride devices become available at increasing power levels, demonstration in high-power systems is paramount to customer acceptance. “The ultra-high switching frequency that gallium nitride enables is one key to reducing the size and weight of power electronic systems”, said Girvan Patterson, CEO of GaN Systems, “and these test results demonstrate first-hand the system-level benefits enabled by this exciting technology.”