PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: July 2007 to October 2009
The Navy’s next generation surface combatants will require a fundamental change in how electric power is converted, distributed, and managed to fully use the electric power available. Current ideas for generating pulsed power require the use of heavy, bulky systems placed in areas not optimal for carrier design. One method to reduce the weight and size of the current iron and copper transformers used in legacy power distribution systems is to use a solid state transformer to combine power electronics with a transformer that is reduced in size due to the increased operating frequency of the power electronics.
The new Wide Band Gap (WBG) semiconductor materials, principally SiC, operate at higher temperatures and require less cooling. The higher blocking voltages and lower switching loss at high frequency of SiC devices allow for the use of smaller transformers and inductors. Power conversion equipment developed using SiC technology is projected to significantly reduce the workload and maintenance requirements of future ship platforms that required high power distribution systems. Improved thermal management of semiconductors and passive components through ungraded packaging would allow more current to be handled by a given device and lead to improved power density designs. The development of a 2.7 MVA Solid State Power Substation (SSPS) has been identified as a first demonstration vehicle. The objective of this project is to develop and demonstrate the reliability of a high temperature packaging methodology that is applicable to current power devices / modules as well as readily adaptable to future power device technology.
This effort is developing and demonstrating the reliability of a manufacturing technology for high temperature packaging that will advance the overall power components industry. These materials and processes will be applicable to the present silicon-based power devices / modules, as well as future SiC-based modules. The end result will lead to more versatile power electronics packaging materials for operation above 10kV and 150-200°C. This packaging effort will enable the Navy to realize the high temperature operation potential of WBG semiconductor materials with packaging materials technology that meets SSPS operational specifications not currently offered by the power electronics industry. The power electronics components produced using this new manufacturing technology will enable the design and development of power distribution systems that are 60% smaller and weigh 2.68 tons less than current systems.
At the conclusion of the ManTech project, the manufacturing technology will be implemented at Powerex Inc. for use in the manufacturing of power electronics modules specified by the SSPS program and the All-Electric ship, as well as components required for other DOD programs.