MOSFETs instead of diodes: Better efficiency for vehicle generators

July 22, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
MOSFET instead of diodes: Better efficiency for vehicle generators
The manufacturer SEG Automotive has revised its vehicle generators and equipped them with new electronics. This measure has increased efficiency by up to 8 percentage points. The new generators can also be integrated into existing environments as a plug-and-play solution.

SEG Automotive has succeeded in achieving a significant increase in efficiency in generator technology: Active rectification in combination with a smart semiconductor technology reduces conduction losses by around 60 % compared to conventional generators. This increases the overall operational efficiency by 7 to 8 percentage points to up to 80 % and more.

The efficiency gain was achieved by using MOSFETs instead of the usual rectifier bridge. Due to their significantly lower forward resistance, the conduction losses are significantly lower compared to the use of diodes. Unlike diodes, MOSFETs require active control to achieve efficiency gains. The SEG developers integrated this control as well as the necessary logic functions directly into the package, which otherwise contains the diode. Nevertheless, it was possible to get by with only two connections (as with diodes).

The generators have the same dimensions and are subject to the same validation; their use is therefore possible not only for new business but also in ongoing series production.

According to SEG Automotive, this gives car manufacturers a short-term lever to reduce their CO2 fleet emissions. For fleet consumption, this results in total savings of up to 1.8 g CO2/km - an important component for climate protection and for achieving increasingly stringent CO2 targets.

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