IGBT-based solid-state DC breaker: proven technology chosen by leading system integrators

IGBT based DC circuit breaker

As we speak multiple vessels are in operation while their SMART DC grids are protected with our Astrol DC breaker switches. This technology enables the successful implementation of highly efficient system designs and topologies such as closed bus tie, multi bus and ring systems. That’s why leading electrical system integrators have chosen this technology.

As a system engineer or system integrator we can imagine that you might have questions about our solid-state DC breaker technology. In this article we emphasize the most important features and answer the most frequently asked questions.

Lifetime in line with complete drive system

The design of our DC breaker switches is based upon market input. One of the design milestones dictated by the industry was a product lifetime of at least 15 years. This is achieved by adding sufficient redundancy. Thereby the lifetime of our solid-state breakers even exceeds the standard lifetime of a typical drive system. No maintenance is needed. The redundancy also leads to an extra robust system. This is shown in the extremely high number of short-circuit and switching-off (fault) conditions without showing any degradation. In short: we developed a maintenance free, robust and reliable solid-state DC breaker switch.

The Astrol DC breaker switch can handle a high number of short-circuit tests and switching-off (fault) conditions without any degradation.

Compact and modular, space is money!

Our solid-state DC breakers are modular and can be integrated in both new and existing/retrofit systems. It is a plug-and-play module that fits in any type or brand of electric drive system. Furthermore, they need just half a standard cabinet.

Frequently asked questions

Why did we choose IGBT technology instead of IGCT technology?

In maritime applications the preference is given to a fail to open semiconductor (IGBT) rather than a fail to close semiconductor (IGCT). Furthermore, speed (no additional inductance needed to operate safely in low inductance systems) easy paralleling and availability are key. IGBT modules are produced by different manufacturers which limits supply chain risks in comparison with a single source IGCT.

Is your DC breaker switch able to handle more than 1 kV DC?

Yes, our marine type approved range of DC breaker switches can even handle up to 1,5 kV DC nominal.

What are the fault detection and fault clearing times? 

Depending on the rating of the DC breaker switch and inductance of the system a typical total clearing time of 10 – 21 microseconds is feasible.
For a typical inductance of 4 μH
– Detection time: 4 μs,
– Breaking time: 7-10 μs
– Total fault clearance 15-21 μs

What are the possible current ratings? 

We have a marine type approval up to 3kA DC. The marine type approval for 5 kA DC will follow in early 2023. Other versions (in AC or DC), depending on the application, voltage ratings up to 11 kV and current ratings up to 6kA are possible. Contact us for more information.

Is your DC breaker certified for marine application?

Yes, we have the only dedicated solid-state DC breaker that has been type approved by DNV for marine applications

Do you perform short circuit testing before delivery?

Every DC breaker switch will undergo 2 full load short circuit tests during the FAT (factory acceptance test). Our breaker doesn’t show any degradation, even after multiple short circuits. Watch the short circuit test of our 3kA DC breaker switch under full load conditions at the high-voltage test lab of Astrol Electronic AG in Switzerland.

Product information

DC breaker switches

Contact us

Do you have additional or more specific questions? Our experienced consultants are happy to advise you. With our maritime DC solutions and professional support, we’ll always make sure you’ll meet your special, electrical and mechanical requirements!

Let's talk about DC solutions!

✆ +31 (0)186 633 600

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