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IGBT agent

The IGBT is one of the most common power electronic switching devices used in modern high-voltage converter modulators. It is used to transfer energy between storage capacitors and a H-bridge during normal operation and to prevent damage during faults by limiting the current flowing through the IGBT to a safe level. This is accomplished through the use of a dedicated over-current protection circuit that detects a fault condition, limits the fault current and opens the IGBT to isolate the remaining stored energy. In this paper, the reliability of an IGBT based over-current protection system in STATCOM applications is investigated.

The different power electronic switching devices competing in the market offer unique advantages and features that make them suitable for specific circuits. The IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor), for example, combines the advantages of both the BJT and the MOSFET. Its simple gate drive feature allows it to be easily switched at low current with a very small amount of energy consumption. This makes it the perfect choice for many AC applications. Its withstand voltage capability and larger current handling capacity are also superior to those of the MOSFET.

However, there is a continuous demand for improvements on these characteristics, especially higher switching speed and a lower conduction loss. The solution may be found in double-mechanism power semiconductors, in which both a minority carrier device and a majority-carrier device are embedded in one single package. IGBTs and MCTs are two examples of such double-mechanism power semiconductors that are being developed and tested in the market.

How is the IGBT agent controlled or driven in electronic circuits?

The IGBT agent is a power semiconductor that consists of four alternating semiconductor layers and is controlled by a metal-oxide-semiconductor gate. It is unidirectional, meaning that it only switches current in one direction and not the other like the power MOSFET. Its advantage over the MOSFET is that it is able to handle large collector-emitter currents with a very low gate current drive, while still maintaining good switching performance.

IGBTs are very sensitive to electrostatic discharge (ESD) and must be handled using ESD protection. They are also highly susceptible to damage from arcing and must be properly insulated from other electronic components in the circuit. In addition, IGBTs are highly sensitive to humidity and must be properly encapsulated in an appropriate resin.

The 5 kA pulsed power supply for inductive and plasma loads of the Electron Energy Filter (EEF) in large volume plasma device uses ten Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT). This paper describes the development of a snubber circuit to control over voltage protection for these IGBTs during the commutation process. The snubber circuit limits the current overshoot of the collector and prevents damage to the device.

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