Nissan develops Worlds first inverter using SiC diodes for vehicle use

Nissan announced the development of the world’s first inverter using SiC (Silicon Carbide) diodes for vehicle use. Nissan has launched tests using an X-TRAIL FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) equipped with this technology.The newly developed inverter uses SiC for the diodes – a semiconductor device used to control the flow of current in a single direction – and employs a new Nissan-developed heterojunction diode (HJD) structure. Together the SiC diode and HJD structure reduce the overall size and weight of the inverter and dramatically improve its reliability. The new SiC diode technology is not limited to fuel cell vehicles, but can also be applied to the electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) currently under development by Nissan.

The newly developed SiC diode provides high power efficiency with improved heat resistance and reliability to create a high breakdown voltage, large capacity inverter. The new SiC inverter’s diode surface has been reduced by 70% and the circuit energy efficiency has been improved by 20% in comparison to previous diodes. The simplification of the system’s cooling mechanisms allows for further reductions in the size and weight of the inverter by 15% to 20%.