Transphorm teams for fanless portable GaN-based power generator

December 07, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Transphorm has teamed up with solar energy innovator Inergy and design house Telcodium to use high voltage gallium nitride (GaN) transistors in a portable, rugged power generator.

The forthcoming Kodiak Extreme consists of a photovoltaic (PV) inverter and battery charger based on Transphorm’s JEDEC-qualified GaN devices. As the GaN transistors run cooler than similar silicon devices, the Kodiak Extreme does not require an internal cooling fan, allowing Inergy to develop a truly water-resistant and dustproof solar power generators.

The Kodiak Extreme has a 110/120 Vac 2 kW output for applications such as construction, emergency services and industrial by providing reliable off-grid AC power. The solar generator’s PV inverter and battery converter use Transphorm’s TP65H050WS 50 mΩ TO-247 FET and TPH3206LDGB 150 mΩ PQFN device respectively. They serve as close replacements for the Si IGBTs and MOSFETs used in prior Kodiak models given their standard packaging, which makes them easy to design in and heatsink.

Transphorm's third generation devices can increase power density up to 40 percent and decrease heat losses through traditional heat sinking methods while switching 2x to 3x faster than Si transistors. They also offer ±20 V gate voltage and a 4 V threshold, reducing the need for additional circuitry and controls to ensure reliability. This combination provides 33 percent more power output with a minimum 98 percent inverter efficiency from light load to full load and a battery charger that charges four times faster than the previous generation.

“We’ve been interested in Gallium Nitride power systems for some time, having first been introduced to it observing the Google Little Box Challenge,” said James Brainard, CTO of Inergy. “The technology’s capabilities would allow us to create a highly ruggedized and efficient portable generator capable of bringing affordable solar energy to the masses. Superior durability, high clean power output, lightweight—these are all the attributes that our customers want. Working with Transphorm and Telcodium to develop the GaN platform for our system enables us to achieve that vision.”

The Kodiak Extreme is planned for commercial release in Q1 2019.

transphormusa.com

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