skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: High-Temperature Air-Cooled Power Electronics Thermal Design: Annual Progress Report

Abstract

Power electronics that use high-temperature devices pose a challenge for thermal management. With the devices running at higher temperatures and having a smaller footprint, the heat fluxes increase from previous power electronic designs. This project overview presents an approach to examine and design thermal management strategies through cooling technologies to keep devices within temperature limits, dissipate the heat generated by the devices and protect electrical interconnects and other components for inverter, converter, and charger applications. This analysis, validation, and demonstration intends to take a multi-scale approach over the device, module, and system levels to reduce size, weight, and cost.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies Office (EE-3V)
OSTI Identifier:
1293811
Report Number(s):
NREL/MP-5400-62784
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; power electronics; thermal management; inverter cooling

Citation Formats

Waye, Scot. High-Temperature Air-Cooled Power Electronics Thermal Design: Annual Progress Report. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1293811.
Waye, Scot. High-Temperature Air-Cooled Power Electronics Thermal Design: Annual Progress Report. United States. doi:10.2172/1293811.
Waye, Scot. Mon . "High-Temperature Air-Cooled Power Electronics Thermal Design: Annual Progress Report". United States. doi:10.2172/1293811. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1293811.
@article{osti_1293811,
title = {High-Temperature Air-Cooled Power Electronics Thermal Design: Annual Progress Report},
author = {Waye, Scot},
abstractNote = {Power electronics that use high-temperature devices pose a challenge for thermal management. With the devices running at higher temperatures and having a smaller footprint, the heat fluxes increase from previous power electronic designs. This project overview presents an approach to examine and design thermal management strategies through cooling technologies to keep devices within temperature limits, dissipate the heat generated by the devices and protect electrical interconnects and other components for inverter, converter, and charger applications. This analysis, validation, and demonstration intends to take a multi-scale approach over the device, module, and system levels to reduce size, weight, and cost.},
doi = {10.2172/1293811},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Mon Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • This presentation discusses the status of research at NREL on high temperature air-cooled power electronics thermal design.
  • The objective for this project is to 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). Reliable WBG devices are capable of operating at elevated temperatures (≥ 175 °Celsius). However, packaging WBG devices within an automotive inverter and operating them at higher junction temperatures will expose other system components (e.g., capacitors and electrical boards) to temperatures that may exceed their safe operating limits. This creates challenges for thermal management and reliability. In this project, system-level thermal analyses are conducted to determine the effect of elevated device temperatures on invertermore » components. Thermal modeling work is then conducted to evaluate various thermal management strategies that will enable the use of highly efficient WBG devices with automotive power electronic systems.« less
  • ORNL continues to make significant contributions to the national program. In the HTR fuels area, we are providing detailed statistical information on the fission product retention performance of irradiated fuel. Our studies are also providing basic data on the mechanical, physical, and chemical behavior of HTR materials, including metals, ceramics, graphite, and concrete. The ORNL has an important role in the development of improved HTR graphites and in the specification of criteria that need to be met by commercial products. We are also developing improved reactor physics design methods. Our work in component development and testing centers in the Componentmore » Flow Test Loop (CFTL), which is being used to evaluate the performance of the HTR core support structure. Other work includes experimental evaluation of the shielding effectiveness of the lower portions of an HTR core. This evaluation is being performed at the ORNL Tower Shielding Facility. Researchers at ORNL are developing welding techniques for attaching steam generator tubing to the tubesheets and are testing ceramic pads on which the core posts rest. They are also performing extensive testing of aggregate materials obtained from potential HTR site areas for possible use in prestressed concrete reactor vessels. During the past year we continued to serve as a peer reviewer of small modular reactor designs being developed by GA and GE with balance-of-plant layouts being developed by Bechtel Group, Inc. We have also evaluated the national need for developing HTRs with emphasis on the longer term applications of the HTRs to fossil conversion processes.« less
  • Progress in HTGR studies is reported in the following areas: fission product technology and coolant impurity effects, fueled graphite development, PCRV development, structural materials, characterization and standardization of graphite, and evaluation of the pebble-bed type HTR.
  • Information is presented concerning HTGR chemistry; fueled graphite development; irradiation services for General Atomic Company; prestressed concrete pressure vessel development; HTGR structural materials; graphite development; high-temperature reactor physics studies; shielding studies; component flow test loop studies; core support performance test; and application and project assessments.