20-kV GaN Switch Technology Demonstrated in High-Efficiency Medium-Voltage Building Block
Virginia Tech will accelerate deployment of power electronics into grid-scale energy applications by developing 20 kV GaN devices integrated into a medium-voltage (MV) power module. For the GaN power devices, high-quality substrates and innovative growth techniques will be used to reduce the background impurity contamination in the thick layers needed to block 20 kV. The power module will be fabricated using three-dimensional packaging for improved thermal management and high-power density at 20 kV. The power module will enable the full potential of high-voltage, high-temperature, and fast-switching GaN devices in MV power converters for use in renewable energy grid-level applications and transportation.
The cornerstone of the program is the development of a 20 kV GaN switch delivered in a power module, integrated with gate drivers and protections, and produced as an MV building block.
The technology will position the U.S. to monopolize global GaN-based energy markets.
The technology accelerates deployment of power electronics into grid-scale energy applications, dramatically reducing energy consumption-related emissions.
Advancement in power electronics promises enormous energy efficiency gains throughout the U.S. economy.