Marelli Launches 800 Volt Silicon Carbide Inverter Platform for Electric Motors

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Marelli presents its new 800 Volt Silicon Carbide inverters platform at the Dritev event in Baden, Germany on July 6-7. // Courtesy of Marelli
Marelli presents its new 800 Volt Silicon Carbide inverters platform at the Dritev event in Baden, Germany on July 6-7. // Courtesy of Marelli

Marelli, a global automotive supplier headquartered in Italy with offices in Southfield, has developed a new complete platform of 800-volt silicon carbide (SiC) inverters, ensuring improvements in terms of the inverters size, weight, and efficiency.

The platform was presented for the first time at the International VDI Congress Dritev (Drivetrain Transmission Electrification in Vehicles), conducted in Baden, Germany, July 6-7, where Marelli showcased its electrification technologies.

Inverters are electronic devices that can turn direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) that helps control speed and torque for electric motors. Silicon Carbide is positively recognized for power electronics with excellent performance at high temperatures and high voltages, enabling smaller, lighter, and efficient solutions.

“The new inverters platform based on our 800 Volt Silicon Carbide power module technology allows to serve applications where energy use is optimized, the performance is maximized, and efficiency is dramatically improved,” says Razvan Panati, head of power electronics technology of Marelli’s vehicle electrification division. “With a complete range of modular solutions, we are able to offer to our customers more flexibility in terms of packaging, cooling system design, and energy storage.”

The new 800 Volt inverter platform features an optimized thermal structure, due to the innovative structural and cooling channel designs that drastically reduce the thermal resistance between the SiC components themselves and the cooling liquid. This is a critical aspect in high power applications, where the heat rejection of the power module is significant.

Among other advantages, the inverter platform can extract more energy from the battery at a higher efficiency and significantly increases the driving range of a vehicle while ensuring faster charging times and better acceleration. Finally, a smaller and more efficient inverter allows a reduction in battery size which delivers cost, weight, and sustainability benefits.

The 800-volt SiC inverters complete the inverters range offered by Marelli, resulting from more than 10 years of experience, that also includes 400-volt solutions based both on IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor), SiC, and gallium nitride (GaN)-based converters in development.

The software for all the inverters in Marelli’s range is developed in-house by the company and is hosted by an electric control unit located in the same inverter case. The software is compliant with AUTOSAR (Automotive Open System Architecture) standards and specifically customized for the diagnostic standards required by car makers. Functional Safety requirements are compliant to ASIL D (Automotive Safety Integrity Level D) standard.

The inverters range is part of the solutions Marelli is showcasing at its booth at the 22nd edition of the International VDI Congress “Dritev,” one of the largest industry events in Europe in the field of drivetrain and transmission.

At the congress, the company will exhibit its portfolio of technologies for vehicle electrification, that includes a full selection of single components, as well as subsystems, up to solutions for the complete integrated vehicle energy management system, applying a “tier 0.5” approach, with the integration of thermal management into the electric powertrain. Alongside inverters, also electric motors, integrated e-axles systems, battery management systems, and solutions for managing all vehicle thermal systems are part of the company’s technological offering.

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