Ultra-reliable gate driver solutions for solar power generation
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Ultra-reliable gate driver solutions for solar power generation

Posted Date: 2024-02-01

The cost-optimized driver solution is implemented using Power Integrations' highly integrated SCALE and SCALE-2 gate drivers, which significantly reduces component count and PCB size compared to typical solutions based on discrete driver stages. Integration also improves reliability because fewer components mean fewer potential causes of failure. Therefore, using SCALE and SCALE-2 gate drivers can improve the mean time between failures (MTBF) of the entire system.

One of the technical challenges associated with solar applications involves overvoltage protection.

During normal operation (when the load is connected at standard temperature), the DC bus voltage of the solar inverter is relatively low compared to the blocking capability of the power switch. Therefore, there is enough voltage "headroom" to handle any overvoltage that may occur when the power switch is turned off. Therefore, reliable protection of these switches can be easily achieved using active clamping methods.

However, the open circuit voltage of the solar inverter (more precisely the solar panel), especially at low temperatures, may cause the DC bus voltage to increase close to the blocking capability of the power switch. During this time, any standard active clamp circuit may cause the power switch to turn on unexpectedly. In the worst case, this results in additional losses and increased EMI; however, in the worst case, the result can be complete damage to the solar converter.

To address this situation, Power Integrations has developed a sophisticated active clamping technology called Dynamic Active Clamping (DA?C), which automatically activates and deactivates the clamping function, allowing solar inverters to The inverter can operate safely in all application conditions (see figure below)).

Ultra-reliable gate driver solutions for solar power generation


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