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Soft-switching gate drive solution from Pre-Switch slashes solar inverter costs

Published: 22 October 2019 - Sarah Mead

Pre-Switch, Inc., a Silicon Valley start-up that emerged from stealth mode last year, has announced that its revolutionary soft-switching IGBT and silicon carbide gate driver architecture, including the Pre-Drive 3 controller board, powered by the Pre-Flex FPGA, and RPG gate driver board, can significantly reduce the cost of solar inverters. The two-stage architecture delivers the same switching loss performance – or better – as a five-level design, resulting in reduced cost, control complexity and BOM count.Also, Pre-Switch enables the simplification and size reduction of inverters and filters used in renewable energy systems, enabling energy to be put back into the grid easily and efficiently.

The Pre-Switch soft-switching platform enables a doubling of power output for a typical inverter, or an increase in switching speed by a factor of up to 20 times. Previously, soft-switching has never been successfully-implemented for DC/AC systems with varying input voltage, temperature and load conditions. However, Pre-Switch has overcome the challenges by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to constantly-adjust the relative timing of elements within the switching system required to force a resonance to offset the current and voltage wave forms – thereby minimizing switching losses.  

Explains Pre-Switch CEO, Bruce T. Renouard: “Our benefit for solar energy system designers is that our soft-switching architecture eliminates half of the system losses. So we are able to achieve performance levels with a simple two stage design that would require five stages using conventional multi-level techniques.”

He adds: “The architecture also allows the grid tie filter size to be reduced by up to 66.67% for IGBT systems and by up to 80% for SiC MOSFETs.  That is a huge advantage, not only in system size but also materials and shipping cost savings.”  

Pre-Switch: Further, Faster, Lighter, Cheaper – Cooler

 About Pre-Switch

Pre-Switch, Inc. is a Silicon Valley company that delivers AI-based soft-switching power architectures that minimize switching losses, resulting in dramatic improvements in efficiency, size, performance and reliability. Key applications include for electric vehicles, solar inverters, wind turbines, UPS, storage and motor drives. Pre-Switch™ technology increases eV range, reduces battery size, shrinks power converter size and cost, while minimizing cooling requirements. Pre-Switch was founded by industry experts in power semiconductors, power systems, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Pre-Flex technology is patent pending globally. 

Pre-Switch®, the Pre-Switch logo and other trademarks or service names are the trademarks of Pre-Switch, Inc



 
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