Marelli, one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers, has launched the first power module for electric and hybrid traction applications in motorsport. The new module was developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM. It is based on the semiconductor material silicon carbide (SiC).
Having worked on improving SiC technologies for many years, Fraunhofer IZM has now collaborated with Marelli to jointly develop a new module called EDI (Enhanced Direct-cooling Inverter). Based entirely on SiC, the module enables higher conversion efficiencies and is smaller and lighter – which is not only important in motorsports but can also be advantageous for road vehicles.
Smaller, lighter, more efficient
Its distinctive feature is an innovative structural design without a base plate that drastically reduces the thermal resistance between the SiC components and the cooling fluid. The result is an extremely compact power stage that can exploit the efficiency advantage of silicon carbide, while allowing for more flexibility in packaging and cooling system design. Compared to a silicon-based design of the same rating, the new technology enables conversion efficiencies of up to 99.5%, reduces weight and size by 50% and boasts 50% higher heat dissipation into the cooling system.
Manufactured in the clean room of Marelli’s Corbetta plant (Italy), the EDI power module has already been put through a series of reliability tests for motorsport usage profiles. Electrical and mechanical reliability tests yield very good results with respect to the robustness of the module’s design. The new inverter module allows Marelli to supplement its range of electric drive products for both motorsports and road vehicle applications.
Motorsport SiC inverter module
Riccardo De Filippi, Senior Vice President and CEO of Marelli Motorsport: “At Marelli Motorsport, our mission is to promote technological advances that can make the difference above all on the racetrack, while enabling next-generation technologies for the road vehicles of tomorrow.”