Silicon (Si)-based power electronics have long dominated the power electronics industry for their technological maturity and relative ease of accessibility. The silicon carbide (SiC) substrate, however, has gained traction of late due to its major intrinsic advantages, which align well with recent industry trends. This wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductor can not only handle much larger energy densities than its Si counterpart but also offers a high power conversion efficiency with a large thermal conductivity — factors that are particularly critical in battery-based applications that require a high degree of power savings and fast charges.

This article is part of a two-part series that discusses the design considerations of on-board charger (OBC) systems and the advantages that SiC has over Si for OBCs, with a focus on bidirectional chargers. The practical advantages of implementing SiC over Si for OBCs are detailed in a comparison of reference designs for a Si and SiC OBC, with a cost savings analysis and breakdown of the system benefits…

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