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Explosion Mechanism Investigation of High Power IGBT Module
Keywords: IGBT, Explosion, High Power
High power IGBT modules are crucial components in switching power electronic applications, such as renewable energy, traction, electrical vehicles. The IGBT module packages usually provide electromagnetic (EM)/chemical protection, mechanical support, heat dissipation, electrical connection for electrical components and interconnections [1]. 3.3kV/1500A IGBT module, with 190mmX140mm footprint, is one type of standard packages that have been vastly utilised in traction, industry applications. There are different failure modes due to high power, high voltage, and high current ratings of the module. One of most serious failures is the module explosion. The high power module explosion can cause direct damages and huge influences to surrounding systems or even cause safety problems depending on its application scenario. New 3.3kV/1500A IGBT module with improved explosion performance has been designed and investigated via 3D simulation and experiment jointly [2]. This paper will focus on the main reasons for explosion and how to reduce the explosion damages once the explosion is unavoidable. During the switching operations, IGBT modules can normally afford very high short-circuited current for ~10µs or longer period as different application requirements. Control driver circuits are utilised to act once short-circuit happens. Extreme high short-circuited current can cause module failure or even explosion. That is one of key factors that can cause power module explosion. The explosion effect normally relates to encapsulating materials, such as silicone gel, plastic frame, or epoxy seal used for the module. The mechanism is rather complicated that once module explosion is unavoidable, customers would like to have minimum effects on the surrounding devices.We have utilised both computational simulation and experimental explosion test to investigate the mechanism of explosion and reduce explosion influences for new designed 190X140 footprint IGBT module [2]. 3D EM, EM-Circuitry, Electrical-Thermal-Mechanical simulations have been used to investigate the module performance in different aspects, i.e. (a) EM simulation to calculate busbar Lorentz force, the Lorentz force can cause deformation of whole module during explosion if high short-circuit current going through busbars; (b) electrical-circuitry simulation to study the current imbalance at switching-on stage due to IGBT parallel interconnections. This study can show the possible weakest point even at explosion stage; (c) Electro-thermal simulation to show the thermal distribution during operation and the corresponding thermal-mechanical effect and tendency onto electrical performance. Explosion test platform has been setup internally to verify explosion capability for the new 190X140 3.3kV/1500A module. Extreme high current rating between 250kA and 300kA as short pulse had been applied to IGBT module and generated the explosion failures for different modules as parallel comparison. The explosion test results have shown that the new designed modules have very limited influences on the surrounding system. The exploded module analysis had verified the key simulation conclusions as mentioned in the previous paragraph. More detailed explosion mechanism analysis and explosion results can be introduced during the conference.
Daohui LI, Senior Principal Engineer
Dynex Semiconductor Ltd
Lincoln , Lincoln

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