Power_electronics Features

Innovating Power Module Packaging - April/May 21
A systemís power delivery network or PDN is made up of passive and active components such as cables, connectors, AC-DC and DC-DC converters and regulators. As power levels increase to enable new More details...
Power Electronics Europe Events
PCIM Europe 2021 Back On Stage - Now Postponed and Digital
January 25, 2021 - May 7, 2021

Update April 26:

The “PCIM Europe digital days” will showcase award-winning conference presentations. The PCIM Europe advisory board, led by Professor Dr. Leo Lorenz, ECPE, Germany, has selected the best paper overall. In addition, the Young Engineer Awards have been granted to three exceptional contributions by young professionals.

From 3 – 7 May 2021 over 250 conference presentations will be presented online to the public for the first time with the latest research findings and developments, including four outstanding, award-winning presentations. During the “PCIM Europe digital days” interested participants will have the opportunity to engage in intensive discussions with the award winners.

The Best Paper Award will be given to

Gustavo Fortes, LAPLACE University of Toulouse, France for his contribution:

Characterization of a 300 kW Isolated DC-DC Converter using 3.3 kV SiC-MOSFETs

In the solid state transformers, efficiency is an essential criterion. It is recommended to have a high switching frequency to reduce filter elements, volume and mass of the transformer. Therefore, the concept of soft switching is indispensable to meet these constraints. This paper presents an experimental comparison regarding two different current ratings 3.3kV SiC-MOSFETs and focuses on the influence on the converter efficiency caused by the output capacitances of the devices.

Three Young Engineers will be awarded:

Christian Schwabe, Technical University of Chemnitz, Germany

Power Cycling Lifetime Investigation for Standard Packaged IGBTs under Low Temperature Swings and 50 Hz Load with Experiment and Simulation

This paper focuses on the high cycle fatigue zone with low temperature swings for power modules, which is a new field in experimental testing. An advanced power cycling test concept, which can provide switching and conduction losses, was used. This combination allows accelerated testing with a load frequency of 50 Hz while avoiding overstressing devices with a current beyond specification. A design of experiments was developed and carried out with several million power cycling swings. Unexpectedly, the results can be fitted with standard models up to temperature swings of ΔT = 25 K. A wide range of simulations has been performed to further investigate the temperature distribution and the mechanical background. The mechanical simulation underlined the failure analysis which exposes solder layer degradation as a main failure mode for low temperature swings.

Carsten Kempiak, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Germany

Accelerated Qualification of Highly Reliable Chip Interconnect Technology by Power Cycling Under Thermal Overload

Highly reliable interconnects of an IGBT have been tested by power cycling. The test has been successfully accelerated by exceeding the specified operating conditions of the device. The approach is suitable to reduce the test time from several months to one day without changing the underlying failure mechanism, as revealed by experimental results and failure analysis. Additionally, a lifetime model is derived and compared to yet published models, revealing that the lifetime of modern power modules is much less affected by high temperatures, in particular when advanced interconnect technologies like silver-sintering are applied. Limitations and application examples are discussed as well.

Gard Lyng Rødal, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

An Adaptive Current Source Gate Driver for SiC MOSFETs with Double Gate Current Injection

This paper presents the design and operating principles of a novel current-source gate driver for Silicon Carbide metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors with adaptive functionalities that aims to improve controllability of 𝑑𝑖/𝑑𝑡 and 𝑑𝑣/𝑑𝑡 compared to conventional totem-pole voltage source gate drivers. The proposed gate driver is capable of providing a double injection of the gate current. This is achieved by means of incorporating a full-bridge circuit with energy storing inductors as well as an auxiliary switch for providing the second current pulse. The gate current can be adjusted by properly controlling the switching operations of the driver switches. The performance of the proposed adaptive current-source gate driver is validated by simulations and experiments. Experiments has verified the operating principle of the driver, while simulations have verified the driver’s ability to control turn-on/off delay times, 𝑑𝑖/𝑑𝑡 and 𝑑𝑣/𝑑𝑡.

Each award is endowed with prize money of 1,000 EUR.

The full conference program and further details about the “PCIM Europe digital days” are available at www.pcim-europe.com

Update Febrruary 4: The PCIM Europe exhibition and conference originally planned from 4 – 6 May 2021 is to be postponed until 31 August – 2 September 2021. The venue remains the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre. The event will be complemented by the digital format, the “PCIM Europe digital days” where exhibitors and speakers can exchange views on product innovations and research findings with visitors and participants. This online extension of the conference and exhibition will provide the community with even more opportunities for networking and exchange.

Update February 17: Due to the ongoing pandemic and its effects, the PCIM Europe exhibition and conference are to take place digitally only from May 3 - 7. During the “PCIM Europe digital days” exhibitors and speakers can network and exchange views on product innovations and research findings with visitors and participants.

PCIM Europe  is the world's leading exhibition and conference for power electronics, intelligent motion, renewable energy, and energy management. Information on the Corona protection and hygiene concept developed together with NürnbergMesse and the authorities responsible can be found on this link: https://pcim.mesago.com/nuernberg/en/hygiene.html.

The PCIM Europe 2021 will focus on the topic of electromobility. In the E-Mobility Area, exhibitors can present this specific area of application. The E-Mobility Forum features technical presentations that cover the entire value chain pertaining to electric vehicles and transport. A further thematic focus is the trending topic of energy storage. In the Energy Storage Pavilion, trade visitors will find exhibitors, who offer products and solutions in this field.

The PCIM Europe Conference is an user-driven platform featuring presentations on current topics from the R&D departments of leading companies and universities from all areas of power electronics. All three conference days will be opened by a keynote highlighting a subject of general interest.

Keynotes highlighting innovative application areas

The first keynote on the Tuesday (May 4) is entitled Next-Generation SiC/GaN Three-Phase Variable-Speed Drive Inverter Concepts“ and will be presented by Johann Walter Kolar, Full Professor and Director of the Power Electronic Systems Laboratory, ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

Next-generation variable speed drive (VSD) systems should feature high power density, not require shielded motor cables, offer high input and/or output voltage/motor speed range, ensure low motor power losses and/or applicability of conventional low-cost motor technology, and prevent dv/dt-related motor insulation stresses and bearing currents, as well as reflections on long motor cables, and finally should feature cognitive functionality for a seamless integration in Industry 4.0 environments. The talk will first discuss state-of-the-art VSD systems, define future requirements and highlight challenges originating from employing latest ultra-fast switching wide-bandgap (WBG) power semiconductors (GaN and SiC), which are a main enabling technology for further improving VSD performance. Next, different inverter output filter structures providing a continuous motor voltage waveform and/or preventing PWM-related effects as well as the filter design procedure and control are presented. Furthermore, examples of recently introduced commercial WBG VSD systems with output filter are described. Next, Advanced PWM inverter bridge-leg topologies, e.g. a quasi-two-level operated five-level flying capacitor approach will be discussed and new voltage DC-link and current DC-link inverter topologies featuring buck-boost functionality and a continuous sinusoidal output voltage are described, including experimental results of ultra-compact hardware demonstrators built at the Power Electronic Systems Laboratory of ETH Zurich. Furthermore, the advantages and challenges of a physical integration of motor and inverter are presented and the limitations originating from small chip sizes / low thermal capacitances concerning transient overload capability are highlighted.

The second keynote on May 5 will be given byHannes Stahr, Group Manager Technology - R&D, AT&S, Austria entitled Next Generation of Power Electronics Module Packaging“.

The global automotive market is since years in a crisis and the Corona pandemic is increasing the situation. Till 2017 the number of manufactured cars increased up to 96 million followed 2018 with a stable number and in 2019 the numbers declined by 4,5% and in 2020 the number of produced cars could drop to 75 million. The general trend that parts of the automotive market is moving to China becomes visible on the latest numbers. In front of the second wave of the pandemic in Europe, China is reporting an increase of their sales numbers over the last 3 month of 8,5%. China has become the rescuer for the German automotive industry. In 2018 the biggest player VW, Daimler and BMW sold 35,6% of their worldwide turnover in China. The EU defines a reduction of the CO2 emission down to 95 g CO2/km on average for the fleet until 2021. At the moment a further reduction to about 60 g CO2/km until 2030 is planned. China - the leading region bringing electro mobility on the street - for example targets to reduce the average fuel consumption down to 5 l/100 km until end 2020. All these goals are only reachable with high-voltage electrification, based on HV power semiconductors and power packaging with high efficiency. The European automotive market has reacted on these challenges by developing technologies to follow these targets and try to keep the business in Europe. To improve the efficiency in modern cars on the way to electro mobility the power density has to increase without limitations on performance and reliability. To realize these requirements many ingredients are necessary taken into account. New module concepts with wide gap semiconductors are the best candidates to face these challenges. Priority is on thermal management and handling of high current. The implementation of power semiconductors directly into the printed circuit board (PCB) is a very promising approach to fulfill these requirements. AT&S successfully used the expertise with its ECP (Embedded Components Packaging) technology for the implementation of efficient power packages and modules. This made it possible to reduce the space required for power packages by up to 50% with correspondingly higher power density. In addition, it showed that very good results are achievable in terms of switching behavior, heat removal and power cycling robustness.

The third keynote on the Thursday (May 6) by Seddik Bacha, Program Scientific Director, SuperGrid Institute, France highlights “HVDC Grid Challenges Locks and Opportunities“.

Beyond the HVDC drivers, the problem of hosting and routing the huge quantities of renewable energies can be seen as the timely major challenge for the Transmission System. It imposes new physical architectures and new operation schemes. To address these issues, specialists are admitting a paradigm: actual HV AC grid enhancing or building new HVDC grid beside the older one? The first solution is based on new lines commissioning associated with FACTS devices. The second possibility consists on the planning of a complete HVDC structure which will collaborate with the existing HV AC grid. The realistic solution consists on a compromise between the two possibilities. In the both cases, Power Electronics plays a key role on the actual operation and on the future grid development via HVDC applications. It offers the possibility to control the energy flows through optimal pathways, to interconnect no synchronized areas, to transfer the energy through long distances and make feasible large subsea interconnections. However new issues arise from the HVDC systems and their associated Power Electronics Devices. Some of them are affecting the grid stability itself and other the protection plan; for instance, the grid inertia and the Short Circuit Ratio decrease. As the Aesop tong, the Power Electronics is affecting and will affect the grid operation but in the same, it offers the solutions for these issues and new possibilities for enhancing the actual grid performances. The conference will introduce the drivers for HVDC developments, will present the inherent locks and will propose some opportunities and solutions to discuss.

An overview on the full program is available under https://pcim.mesago.com/nuernberg/en/conference/program-speakers/program.html

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