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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K008161/1
Title: Predictive Reliability Modelling and Characterization of Silicon Carbide Power MOS-Transistors in Grid-Connected Voltage Source Converters
Principal Investigator: Alatise, Professor O
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Alstom Group Dynex Semiconductor (CRRC Times UK)
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 17 April 2013 Ends: 16 August 2015 Value (£): 99,765
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Jul 2012 EPSRC ICT Responsive Mode - July 2012 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Modern society's reliance on electrical energy is almost as critical as its reliance on food and water. In the UK, majority of the electrical energy is generated by electrical machines powered by fossil fuels. The principles of sustainability require that the energy consumption pattern changes since fuel reserves are finite. Furthermore, shifting away from fossil fuels is integral to the de-carbonisation of the economy which is critical for tackling global warming. To this end, substantial progress has been made on harnessing wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. However, change is also required in the manner in which electricity is transmitted and distributed through the grid. Renewable energy is usually intermittent and unpredictable, characteristics which make it unsuitable for direct connection with the electric grid. Renewable sources like wind and solar energy can only interface with the electrical grid through power electronics. Power electronics is required for the processing and conditioning of electrical energy so as to make it complaint with the grid. At the heart of power electronics, we have power semiconductor devices which have traditionally been fabricated out of silicon bipolar technology. However, silicon is reaching its fundamental limits in terms of energy density, hence, moving to advanced power materials like silicon carbide can give added impetus to the field of power electronics. Silicon carbide is a wide bandgap semiconductor with a higher critical electric field and higher thermal conductivity. In this project, the reliability of power converters implemented in Silicon-Carbide MOS-Transistor technology is investigated. These power converters will typically be used in off-shore wind-farms for power conversion in high voltage DC transmission (HVDC) systems. The converters can also be used in flexible AC transmission systems like STATCOMS (Static Compensators). The overall objective is to characterize the reliability of power converters implemented in silicon-carbide MOS transistors.

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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk