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Efficient Cooling of High Density Power Module Solutions for Automotive Applications
Keywords: Power Modules, Cooling, Packaging
Electrification of the drive train has emerged from its novelty status to high-volume production. Over the past years pretty much every OEM added hybrid electric (HEVs) or electric vehicles (EVs) to its model line-up. To assure commercial viability the US Department of Energy (DOE) published technical target requirements for the electrical drive train (motor, inverter, battery) of a 55kW system for 2015 and 2020. However, mission profiles of automotive traction applications for EVs and HEVs pose significant challenges for the power inverter and the commonly used IGBT power modules. Commercial viability, lifetime and efficiency represent the key design considerations for next generation power inverters for traction applications. Unfortunately these requirements compete with each other and in all cases will eventually lead towards a compromise in the design. This paper describes in detail how the challenging mission profiles cause specific stress patterns in the power modules’ semiconductors. It further shows how only a holistic approach, where both efficient power module and cooling technology are considered in the design, can lead to the desired optimal balance in cost, efficiency and life time. A new series of compact power modules that combine scalability, cost competitiveness and reliability will be introduced and the benefits of efficient liquid cooling systems will be described. Furthermore, this paper will provide an outlook in the future potential of these technologies to further improve power density and cooling efficiency.
Siegbert Haumann, Director Business Development US
Danfoss Silicon Power GmbH
Schleswig, Schleswig Holstein

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