I found this circuit in an older post. I was thinking about using this in place of a contactor to break under load. The load would be at 500V 300A DC. There would be overcurrent protection in line with this. I do realize that this would be less efficient than a contactor and maybe more expensive. What am I missing? There seems to be little information out there about using an IGBT as a relay or contactor and I assume it's for a reason. What forums I have found people have said it would be too dificult but the explination stops there.

igbt circuit image

I'm currently using this IGBT (FZ600R12KE3) in a small setup switching 350V 30A about 20-30 time a day and have not seen any issues yet.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That looks bi-directional as though it was designed for AC switching. Do you not just want DC? \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Jul 12 '18 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ How much line inductance are we talking about? \$\endgroup\$ – winny Jul 12 '18 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @winny the line is less than 100M so I figure the inductance is in the uH range. \$\endgroup\$ – EEDAVEE Jul 13 '18 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Transistor It is DC but we could have current flowing in either direction. \$\endgroup\$ – EEDAVEE Jul 13 '18 at 19:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Less than a joule to dissipate. Should be entirely doable. \$\endgroup\$ – winny Jul 13 '18 at 19:40

First of all, that bidirectional switch arrangement is inefficient. You require two completely floating powersupplies to realise the local Gate-Emitter power.

A more efficient solution would be the common emitter arrangement. A single float PSU can be used and then two isolated driver chips (hcpl-312T for instance).

enter image description here

As to is this a good idea? well yes, SSPC exist doing exactly this. Why this is considered difficult is producing a circuit that can do this twice... Doing it once is easy, especially if you do not mind the smell of burnt semiconductors. Doing it twice or more economically n-times is harder...

Switching power electronics all about loss management and adhering to its SOA. This is a forced-commutation scenario and thus there is a very high chance there will be over-voltage due to stray inductance wanting to maintain current flow. Likewise there is the SOA with regards to switching...

Usually in SSPC there are a large number in parallel to manage local die losses & die temperature. Equally there switching profile is controlled to mitigate the increased current due to interrupting inductors along with higher-voltage shunt paths

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