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Predicting GaN Device Lifetimes In Solar Microinverters And Power Optimizers
Microinverters and power optimizers are widely utilized in modern solar panels to maximize energy efficiency and conversion. Such topologies and implementations usually require a minimum of 25 years of lifetime, which is becoming a critical challenge for market adoption. Low-voltage gallium nitride (GaN) power devices (VDS rating < 200 V) are a promising solution and are being used extensively by an increasing number of solar manufacturers.
In this article, a test-to-fail approach is adopted and applied to investigate the intrinsic underlying wear-out mechanisms of GaN transistors. The study enables the development of physics-based lifetime models that can accurately project the lifetimes under the unique demands of various mission profiles in solar applications.