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Matching IGBTs and Gate Drive Circuits for Motor Drive Applications

Eric Persson, International Rectifier


Time:     8:00 AM - Noon

Date:    October 13th, 2002

Location:    Conference Room 'C' on Conference Level


In the design of motor drives less than 5 HP, manufacturers often use discrete IGBTs and drivers instead of "intelligent" modules.  This is especially true in cost-sensitive applications such as appliance or light industrial drives.  The IGBTs and drive circuits are considered commodity products that should be interchangeable between various manufacturers.  However, this is not always the case, as differences in IGBT characteristics make them behave differently using the same gate drive circuit.  These differences may appear as increased EMI, higher device temperatures, or higher sensitivity to "nuisance" shutdown for example.  To avoid these problems and the reduced product reliability that they cause, it is important to have a complete understanding of the interaction between an IGBT and gate drive circuit.

 This course will begin with a review of IGBT and diode characteristics, and a detailed explanation of how to use and interpret a datasheet.  Next is a review of gate drive methods, including magnetic, optocoupled, and IC drivers.  Short circuit detection and protection methods are also covered.  The next section covers selecting the proper sized IGBT for a given application, and determining the desired gate drive characteristics.  The course will conclude with several application examples with PSpice and Saber simulations compared to real-world test data.