Railcar traction inverter with SiC power modules achieves 40% power savings

Mitsubishi silicon carbide inverter

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, which has been testing a traction inverter made with silicon carbide (SiC), has announced that the component has demonstrated a savings in power consumption of around 40%.

The traction inverter was installed in a 1000 series urban train in commercial service with a Japanese railroad, and was tested over a four-month period.

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Mitsubishi silicon carbide inverter 2

The testing compared a railcar retrofitted with an all-SiC traction inverter, which is rated for 1,500 V DC catenaries, to another car fitted with a conventional gate turn-off thyristor traction inverter. The test measured the power consumption and electric power regeneration ratio of the two cars’ main circuits, which comprise traction inverters, high-efficiency main motors and filter reactors.

The results showed power savings of 17% during powered operation, an increase in power regeneration ratio from 34.1% to 52.1%, and 40% power savings overall.

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Source: Mitsubishi Electric via Green Car Congress