Format of Original
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
2014 International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Application (ICRERA)
The rapid development of renewable energy systems (RES), especially photovoltaic (PV) energy and wind energy, poses increasing requirements for highpower, low-loss, fast-switching, and reliable semiconductor devices to improve system power capacity, efficiency, power density and reliability. The recent commercialization of wide bandgap (WBG) devices, specifically Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices, provides very promising opportunities for meeting such requirements with their attractive features of high voltage blocking capability, ultra-low switching losses, fast switching speed, and high allowable operating temperatures. This paper analyzed the performance benefits and application challenges of using SiC or GaN devices in both PV and wind energy conversion systems. Solutions to these challenges of using WBG devices in various RES were reviewed and proposed, and the benefits of using such emerging devices were confirmed in simulation based on a 250 kW commercial-scale PV inverter and a 250 kW doubly fed induction generator wind turbine system.