For power converters with inductive loads, a freewheeling path is needed for the current due to reactive power. The <sc>MOSFET</sc> synchronous rectification (SR) is widely used to reduce the conduction loss during the freewheeling period. Due to the wide band gap of silicon carbide (SiC), the intrinsic body diode of SiC <sc>MOSFET</sc> exhibits a high voltage drop. Hence, an antiparallel SiC Schottky diode is normally implemented to eliminate its conduction. However, the external SiC Schottky diode is not fully utilized as it only works during the dead time. In this paper, the hard-switching SR is investigated in an SiC three-phase inverter and compared with a conventional inverter using freewheeling diode (FWD). An improved power loss model for the two inverters has been developed. It is found that the inverter using SR has higher efficiency due to the smaller switching loss. A 7-kW prototype of SiC three-phase inverter is built, which achieves a peak efficiency of 98.8% ($\pm$ 0.15%) and 98.5% ($\pm$0.15%) at 40 kHz using SR and FWD, respectively. This paper confirms that the SiC <sc> MOSFET</sc> is an ideal candidate for the SR.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.