Power electronics:


 Over the past decade, several changes have drawn more attention to electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Increasing oil prices and worries about a diminishing oil supply are creating a need for alternatives to traditional gasoline and diesel engines. Consequently, more and more companies in the transportation industry are introducing electric or hybrid electric vehicles. The hurried demand for electric or hybrid electric vehicles enhances the significance of the power electronics in these vehicles. Furthermore, the present silicon (Si) technology is reaching the material’s theoretical limits and cannot meet all the requirements of the transportation industry. New semiconductor materials called wideband gap (WBG) semiconductors, such as silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN), and diamond, are possible candidates for replacing Silicon. Electronic devices fabricated from high-temperature, wideband gap (WBG) materials offer a number of advantages over corresponding devices fabricated from silicon. These include higher temperature stability; higher chemical stability in extreme environments; higher thermal conductivity, resulting in reduced cooling requirements; and higher breakdown field, which translates into more compact and higher frequency devices. These characteristics are especially desirable in high-power electronic devices such as those used in the power conditioning systems of hybrid electric vehicles.


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