Up to 15% less energy loss in the drive: Lenze and partners develop a new type of SiC inverter

Industry needs to produce more energy efficiently and save costs. In the research project Ide3AL (Innovations for dynamic, energy-efficient electric drives with novel power electronics in industry & manufacturing), Lenze and six partners researched an innovative solution approach. The result: A prototype for a new type of silicon carbide (SIC) frequency inverter that reduces energy losses in the drive train and eliminates the need for heavy shielded cables.

The prototype of the new i950 SiC inverter uses silicon carbide power semiconductors that enable a clock frequency of 128 kHz. This frequency is 20 times higher than in the state of the art. In addition, the prototype has a sine filter that is a factor of 10 smaller than conventional downstream sine filters. Due to its compactness, it can be integrated into the converter and directly supplies a sinusoidal voltage at the output.

"Machine builders can now use unshielded motor cables of any length with Ide3AL technology, which are much lighter, more flexible, and less expensive. This saves a lot of material, money, and installation effort. In addition, the integrated sinusoidal filter prevents voltage peaks at the output of the inverter and thus also power losses. This reduces losses in the entire drive train by up to 15%," explains Martin Ehlich, mechatronics expert in the Innovation department.

Dr. Heiko Stichweh, who heads the innovation area together with Professor Holger Borcherding, highlights another plus point: "And quite incidentally, the highly dynamic SiC-based drive feeds the digital twin with data. This data can be used, for example, to minimize machine downtime through Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and to make production processes in industry more transparent and efficient."

The i950 SiC inverter is still a prototype. But Ide3AL's technology can be transferred into a product in the next step.

Learn more about the Ide3AL project in this video.

By the way: Ide3AL was presented to a broad audience at this year's Hannover Messe at the it's OWL joint booth.

About Ide3AL

Project partners:

  • BLOCK Transformers Electronics Ltd.
  • FRICKE Filling Technology GmbH & Co. KG
  • Infineon Technologies
  • OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts
  • Technische Universität Braunschweig


The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK).

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