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High Temperature System Design for Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Keywords: high temperature electronics, electric vehicles, MOS, IGBT
The automotive semiconductor market is currently valued at around €10 billion worldwide, and is expected to rise to more than €14 billion million by 2014. The steep rise of power modules for hybrid and electrical vehicles is not yet included in this prognosis. Electronic systems have been the most rapidly growing element of vehicles in recent years, and this trend rise sharply with the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The key parameters that determine the suitability of a power device for high temperature environment are the device's maximum allowable junction temperature and its conduction loss. The power devices are cooled to an extent that their junction temperatures do not exceed the maximum allowable value. Increasing the maximum junction temperature allows a higher base plate or heat sink temperature. A higher heat sink temperature, allows a higher ambient air temperature or coolant temperature. The semiconductor devices with low conduction loss will generate less heat, and allows a higher heat sink temperature. The new developments of Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT) allow a maximum junction temperature of 175-200°C. IGBTs that operate at these higher junction temperatures are used in electronic modules and the device reliability and life expectancy at higher junction temperatures allow obtaining higher reliability at module and system level. Operation of silicon components at temperatures of up to 200°C is possible without the occurrence of significantly higher losses. The requirement for high temperature electronics in EVs and HEVs applications, in the wheel, or integrated into the motor, will be a technology driver for both the semiconductors and the electronics module substrates. The paper will present the latest developments in the integration of MOS and IGBT integrated devices for implementation of high temperature electronic modules including DC-DC converters, power inverters and AC-DC converters to provide a range of high reliability products for the electric and hybrid electric vehicles. The design choices are influenced by the power level of the different applications. These techniques are being incorporated into compact integrated modules currently under development.
Ovidiu Vermesan, Chief Scientist
SINTEF
Oslo, NO-0314,
Norway


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