GE Aviation has received a contract for the research and development of silicon carbide-based power electronics supporting the high-voltage next generation ground vehicle electrical power architecture for the U.S. Army.
“GE continues to invest in electric power technologies and specifically in Silicon Carbide which enables significant improvements in size, weight and power,” said Vic Bonneau, president of Electrical Power Systems for GE Aviation.
“Our electric power team has successfully demonstrated various types of power conversion products that have led to high temperature applications of silicon carbide technology. We’re taking this to the next level to deliver prototypes that demonstrate these improved capabilities in the field.”
The $3.4 million contract consists of an 18-month development program that will demonstrate the benefits of GE’s Silicon Carbide MOSFET technology in two critical systems: a 35 kW main engine cooling fan controller and a 3kW coolant pump controller. The hardware will be more efficient than present day silicon based systems and will allow better management of the vehicle’s available on-board power, increasing mission capability.
The silicon carbide technology enables integration of the SiC Controller electronics onto the engine cooling fan. This integration eliminates what is typically a separate liquid-cooled, Motor Drive line replaceable unit (LRU) and related cooling hoses and interconnecting cables, thereby simplifying vehicle installation.
Global Embedded Technologies, Inc. in Farmington Hills, Michigan has been selected to configure, integrate, and supply the controllers for these applications. Marvin Land Systems in Inglewood, California has been selected to provide the main engine cooling fan and coolant pump.
The contract is in support of the U.S. ARMY’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Centre (TARDEC) next generation vehicle electrical power architecture leap ahead technology development.
Learn more about Yole Développement report on GaN and SiC Devices for Power Electronics Applications.
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