Brek Electronics has introduced two string inverters with a new composite architecture optimized for silicon carbide (SiC) components. The design replaces film capacitors with ceramic capacitors and uses planar magnetics. The SiC MOSFETs have a faster switching frequency of 20 times compared to silicon IGBTs. The two inverters have power outputs of 200 kW and 400 kW, with the 400 kW inverter having a power density of 4 kW/kg.
The Brek IS400 has dimensions of 762mm x 381mm x 635mm. Its estimated weight is 100kg, however, some parts have not been included in the calculation. It boasts an efficiency of up to 99% and can operate with a DC power voltage range of 875V to 1,500V. The device can work in ambient temperatures ranging from -40°C to 60°C.
The IS200 device, from Brek, boasts the same efficiency and operating temperature range as the IS400. It has dimensions of 381mm x 381mm x 635mm and weighs around 50kg. The IS200 has one MPPT input while the IS400 has two, and the maximum DC input current per MPPT is 222A. Brek claims the IS400 has a lifespan of around 15 years, with lab tests suggesting an improved MTTF compared to traditional silicon inverters. Brek plans to submit the IS400 for UL testing in Q4 of 2023, with a release expected in H1 of 2024.
Brek’s string inverter technology, based on silicon carbide composite architecture, was a finalist in the American-Made Solar Prize by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Silicon carbide-based inverters are recognized for their higher power density and reduced overall system costs compared to conventional inverters. However, there are still challenges with defects at the interface between silicon carbide and the insulating silicon dioxide material in these devices.