Ideal Power Launches SymCool Power Module for Industrial & Military Applications

Ideal Power Launches SymCool Power Module for Industrial & Military Applications

Ideal Power Inc, pioneering the development and commercialization of the highly efficient and broadly patented B-TRAN bidirectional semiconductor power switch, announced the launch of its first commercial product, the SymCool Power Module. This multi-die B-TRAN module, rated at 1200 V 100 A and incorporating double-sided cooling, is designed to meet the very low conduction loss needs of the solid-state circuit breaker (SSCB) market. Modules can be paralleled to achieve a wide range of high-power SSCB ratings for utility, industrial, and military applications.

“The introduction of our first commercial product marks a pivotal development for Ideal Power’s B-TRAN technology, and we could not be more excited,” stated Dan Brdar, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ideal Power. “The SymCool Power Module was designed specifically to enable SSCBs to deliver very low conduction losses. B-TRAN-enabled SSCBs are expected to be smaller and more efficient than SSCBs using traditional semiconductor switches while operating orders of magnitude faster than conventional electromechanical breakers.

“We believe our SymCool Power Module is well-suited for the large, growing circuit breaker market, with the market projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 6% to approximately $26 billion by 2027. With clear advantages over electromechanical, IGBT, and MOSFET-based breakers, we believe B-TRAN enabled SSCBs are ideal for a range of utility, military, and industrial power control applications. Today’s introduction is a tremendous achievement for our entire team and marks the realization of our vision for our bidirectional, low-loss power semiconductor architecture. We look forward to our first commercial sales later in 2023 as we execute our B-TRAN product roadmap,” concluded Brdar.

Key advantages of SymCool Power Module

  • Energy Savings: Circuit breakers continuously conduct current, so it is critical to keep conduction losses to a minimum. The SymCool Power Module exhibits dramatically lower conduction losses compared to IGBTs, thereby allowing for energy savings that are necessary as power grids are modernized. In particular, the integration of renewable energy sources and energy storage systems into the grid will require circuit breakers that do not waste the precious energy generated by solar or wind. The low conduction losses of the SymCool Power Module meet this requirement.
  • Bidirectional: Fewer Switches Needed: The SymCool Power Module utilizes Ideal Power’s groundbreaking innovation of a dual-sided semiconductor with inherent bidirectional capability. Existing power semiconductors, such as IGBTs, are single-sided and operate as unidirectional switches. The SymCool Power Module takes the bidirectional concept, validated in the Ideal Power B-TRAN single-chip package, to a higher-current capability using multiple B-TRAN chips configured in parallel. The result is a product that will finally enable the SSCB market. In addition to saving energy, the inherent bidirectional capability of the SymCool Power Module means that half as many high-voltage switches are needed compared to implementation with IGBT modules, which need a dedicated switch for each direction of energy flow. Fewer components translate to a smaller, more cost-efficient SSCB. As new applications, such as Vehicle-to-Grid, Vehicle-to-Home, and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2X) emerge with the adoption of electric vehicles, bidirectional functionality is needed. Renewable energy microgrids and key military applications also require bidirectional circuit breakers that operate quickly, and the bidirectional SymCool Power Module offers clear advantages for SSCBs in these applications.
  • Advanced Packaging: Another benefit realized by the dual-sided structure of B-TRAN is the advanced module packaging developed to maximize thermal efficiency. The SymCool Power Module has innovative dual-sided cooling with built-in temperature sensing. Heat is dissipated from both the top and bottom surfaces without wire bonding to meet the ever-increasing demand for reliability, durability, and efficiency. This allows for a smaller, lower-cost thermal management system, and greater overall efficiency of the SSCB. The SymCool Power Module offers a compelling solution to SSCB applications with its combination of greater efficiency, bidirectional capability, and advanced dual-sided cooling package. This will enable a new generation of very fast-acting SSCB designs, while simultaneously saving energy, allowing more compact equipment, and saving overall system costs.
  • Circuit Breakers are Everywhere: Circuit breakers perform critical functions in controlling the flow of electricity and containing high currents created by faults in that flow in a wide variety of applications. In addition to the high demand for circuit breakers from renewable energy, microgrids, energy storage, and EV applications, there is a tremendous need to upgrade aging infrastructure, including utility transmission and distribution networks and railway systems.

Two critical circuit breaker operating requirements are fast switching and low conduction losses. Traditional mechanical circuit breakers are slow acting and prone to wear and arcing; IGBT and MOSFET-based SSCBs suffer from high conduction losses. The fast-switching speed of B-TRAN solves the slow operating time and electrical arcing of electromechanical circuit breakers while also providing more than 50% lower conduction losses compared to SSCBs utilizing conventional semiconductor power switches. These result in lower cost and less complex cooling systems, benefits that significantly impact the economics of SSCBs and improve the economics of transmission and distribution. This is why B-TRAN is an enabling technology for SSCBs.