A Dutch solar car team from the University of Twente and Saxion Hogeschool has selected silicon carbide (SiC) devices from UnitedSiC, a manufacturer of SiC power semiconductors, ahead of a major solar racing challenge in October.
UnitedSiC provided product samples of their Fast Series of SiC FETs to Solar Team Twente, which they ultimately decided on. The team is testing the SiC devices for use in innovative electronics for their solar cars. The new solar car, ‘RED E’, is aiming reach the top position in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC), which takes place on October 13, 2019.
Participating teams from schools and universities in over 30 countries have built their own custom-made solar-powered vehicles and will traverse 3,000km (1,864 miles) of Australian outback from Darwin to Adelaide, facing scorching heat and challenging terrain over public roads.
“At Solar Team Twente, we try to make everything as efficient as possible. Since most commercial electronics do not meet our high demands, we develop our own,” says Devon Screever, electrical engineer at Solar Team Twente: “At the moment, Solar Team Twente develops and produces the entire electrical system of the vehicle, from solar panel, battery, and even the drivetrain. The motor controller and electrical motor are also developed by the team. To ensure we get the best possible performance, we are continuously looking to new technologies, including silicon carbide. With SiC we can reduce our switching losses drastically, while reliability and robustness remains guaranteed.”