Heat Sinks

Silicon Carbide’s Potential in Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

June 11th, 2012


Encouraged by silicon carbide’s superior material properties, major automotive manufacturers involved in developing hybrid and electric vehicles are currently testing SiC-based MOSFETs and other transistors as a viable alternative to silicon-based transistors, particularly for under-the-hood applications where the operating conditions are challenging.

The wide-bandgap material silicon carbide has a better thermal resistance than silicon-based insulated-gate bipolar transistors. Adopting SiC devices would therefore reduce the overall system cost in electric cars by eliminating the use of heat sinks and other cooling devices.

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One Response to “Silicon Carbide’s Potential in Hybrid and Electric Vehicles”

  1. David Griffin says:

    As good as SiC is it likely will not “eliminate” the need for heatsinks. Some power switching devices in hybrid drives dissipate several hundred watts and will still need heatsinks. What it may allow is the use of the IC engine cooling loop (>90C coolant) instead of a separate cooling loop and all the associated hardware.