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Joint Development of Converter-Inverter

Joint Development of Converter-Inverter for The Tokaido Shinkansen Cars Using SiC Power Semiconductor Modules


Tokyo, June 25, 2015 – Fuji Electric Co., Ltd. (TSE:6504) (“FE”), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, led by President Michihiro Kitazawa, is pleased to announce that it has developed jointly with Central Japan Railway Company (TSE/NSE:9022) ("JR Central"), headquartered in Aichi, Japan, led by President Koei Tsuge, a converter-inverter that uses SiC (silicon carbide) power semiconductor modules intended for The Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train) cars, and which now has a prospect for practical implementation

1Product Features
  The converter-inverter*1 under development uses SiC power semiconductor modules with voltage and current ratings of 3,300 V and 1,200 A respectively, developed in-house for train cars.
  SiC power semiconductor modules*2 feature less heat generation than with conventional Si (silicon) power semiconductor modules. They make it possible to simplify the cooling mechanism of converter-inverters and they realize size and weight reduction and energy efficiency improvement for drive systems including converter-inverters.
SiC power semiconductor module

SiC power semiconductor module





*1 A system that converts single-phase AC power from overhead wires to three-phase AC power and drives a motor to run Shinkansen trains.
*2 The SiC device suited for this module makes use of the results of joint research with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. and ULVAC, Inc. as "TPEC (Tsukuba Power-Electronics Constellations)," in which FE has participated since FY2012.

Summary of Prototype Specification

Main circuit Converter: three-level modulated single-phase voltage PWM converter
Inverter: three-level modulated three-phase voltage VVVF inverter
Device used Converter: 3,300 V-1,200 A SiC power semiconductor module
Inverter: 3,300 V-1,200 A SiC power semiconductor module
Control system Four 305-kW motor parallel control
Cooling system Natural ventilation cooling system


2Future Developments
  At present, FE is conducting evaluation in cooperation with JR Central by running tests with the prototype installed on N700 Series cars of The Tokaido Shinkansen. This is the world's first practical case of a drive system of a rapid-transit railway using SiC power semiconductor modules. For commercialization in the future, we intend to elaborate on the design by utilizing the data obtained from testing and to work on further quality improvement.