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Title: Evaluation of Performance and Opportunities for Improvements in Automotive Power Electronics Systems: Preprint

Thermal management strategies for automotive power electronic systems have evolved over time to reduce system cost and to improve reliability and thermal performance. In this study, we characterized the power electronic thermal management systems of two electric-drive vehicles--the 2012 Nissan LEAF and 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. Tests were conducted to measure the insulated-gate bipolar transistor-to-coolant thermal resistances for both steady-state and transient conditions at various coolant flow rates. Water-ethylene glycol at a temperature of 65 degrees C was used as the coolant for these experiments. Computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis models of the vehicle's power electronics thermal management system were then created and validated using experimentally obtained results. Results indicate that the Accord module provides lower steady-state thermal resistance as compared with the LEAF module. However, the LEAF design may provide improved performance in transient conditions and may have cost benefits.
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Conference: Presented at ITHERM 2016 - The 15th IEEE Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems, 31 May - 3 June 2016, Las Vegas, Nevada
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies Office (EE-3V)
Country of Publication:
United States
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION automotive; inverter; power electronics; thermal management