U.S. Army Awards Contract to GE Aviation to Develop SiC Power Electronics for Next Generation Ground Electric Vehicles

GE Aviation of Dayton, Ohio USA, reported that the U.S. Army awarded the company a $4.1 million contract to develop and demonstrate silicon carbide-based power electronics for the high-voltage power architecture of next-generation electrical ground vehicles.

“We continue to invest in silicon carbide and high-density packaging to help the U.S. Army to better manage on-board power.  This component provides the additional benefit of eliminating the need for an electronic cooling system,” said Vic Bonneau, president of Electrical Power Systems for GE Aviation. Our similar Silicon Carbide based programs and planned reuse have led to this new critical high-temperature application.”

According to GE Aviation, the two-year contract will result in three hardware deliverables that will demonstrate the benefits of the company’s Silicon Carbide MOSFET technology in a 200kW starter generator controller. The integrated starter generator controller (ISGC) will offer sensored and sensorless control for multiple generator types in a single line replaceable unit. GE says that the single unit, which weighs less than 50 pounds, will operate bi-directionally at 125 degrees C ambient temperature for engine start.  The CANbus programmable ISGC will use 105 degrees C coolant.

The contract is GE’s 5th that supports the next-generation electric vehicle power architecture for the U.S. ARMY’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).  The company intends to demonstrate a prototype in 2018.