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Title: Power Electronics Thermal Management R&D

This project will develop thermal management strategies to enable efficient and high-temperature wide-bandgap (WBG)-based power electronic systems (e.g., emerging inverter and DC-DC converter designs). The use of WBG-based devices in automotive power electronics will improve efficiency and increase driving range in electric-drive vehicles; however, the implementation of this technology is limited, in part, due to thermal issues. This project will develop system-level thermal models to determine the thermal limitations of current automotive power modules under elevated device temperature conditions. Additionally, novel cooling concepts and material selection will be evaluated to enable high-temperature silicon and WBG devices in power electronics components. WBG devices (silicon carbide [SiC], gallium nitride [GaN]) promise to increase efficiency, but will be driven as hard as possible. This creates challenges for thermal management and reliability.
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Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at the Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation, 6-10 June 2016, Washington, D.C.
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
33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS power electronics; thermal management; wide-bandgap; electric drive vehicles; thermal model