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Title: High Temperature DC Bus Capacitor Cost Reduction & Performance Improvements

Abstract

The goal of this DOE program is to develop high temperature, high energy density, lower cost DC- Link capacitors, for inverters used in electric drive vehicles. Most electric motors in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (“HEVs”), Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (“PHVs”) and Electric Vehicles (“EVs”) are driven with variable AC voltage supplied by an inverter/converter power module that converts the DC battery voltage to three-phase AC voltage. A key component of the inverter circuit is the DC- Link capacitor used to minimize ripple current, voltage fluctuation, and transient suppression. The DC-Link capacitor is one of the largest, costliest, and most failure-prone components in today’s electric drive invertersystems. The principal weakness of present day DC- Link capacitors is their reliance on a low temperature thermoplastic polypropylene (“PP”) film dielectric. PP is the dielectric of choice for inverter capacitor applications due to its high breakdown strength and low dissipation factor. Major limitations of metallized PP film capacitors include volumetric efficiency, performance under high thermal loads and cost. The latter is especially effectual at lower voltage applications (400V) where PP films with a thickness of about 2.5 m are required that are costly to process. Metallized PP capacitors also do not meet the traditional “under-the-hood” requirementsmore » for automotive electronics. The standard temperature requirement for most passive components in the automotive industry has been 125ºC and it is evolving to 140°C. The industry has addressed this problem by reducing the ambient temperature specification for PP capacitors from 125ºC to 105ºC, and also by placing the capacitors on a water-cooled bus bar to extend their life and reliably. The supply chain for the production of PP capacitors is, for the most part, horizontally integrated. It includes the producer of the PP film, the toll metallizer, that deposits a patterned aluminum conductor onto the PP film, and the capacitor producer that winds the metallized film, forms electrical connections, and packages the capacitor (some large capacitor OEMs also metallize their films). The horizontal nature of the supply chain is principally due to the very high capital costs required to integrate the film production process as well as the corresponding depreciation costs. The result is that hundreds of capacitor OEMs use the same base films and capacitor products vary mainly in the way they are wound, formed and packaged, with little or no ability to innovate. Sigma Technologies (“Sigma”) has developed a disruptive process for producing polymer dielectric capacitors that overcome the limitations of PP film capacitors. Metallized self-supported films are replaced with deposited polymer dielectrics, metallized in-line with the polymer deposition process. Highly cross linked, high temperature polymers are formed, that have a thickness as low as 0.1μm, a wide range of dielectric constants and breakdown strength higher than that of PP. The supply chain for producing such capacitors is reduced to a single step performed by the capacitor OEM, in which aluminum wire and a liquid monomer are introduced into a machine to create a large area bulk capacitor material. Polymer Multi-Layer (PML) capacitors are produced by depositing 1000s of dielectric and aluminum electrode on a rotating process drum, forming a nanolaminate “mother capacitor” material, that is segmented and processed into individual capacitor elements. The PML process combines the conventional stepsof a) polymer dielectric formation, b) electrode deposition, and c) winding the capacitor, into a single continuous process performed in a single machine. This allows for complete vertical integration of the capacitor production process, where the capacitor OEM has complete control the dielectric chemistry, the polymer thickness and the electrode metallization process. Sigma partnered with Delphi Automotive Systems (“Delphi”) and Oak Ridge National Labs (“ORNL”) to respond to a DOE Vehicle Technologies Office solicitation to develop a DC-Link capacitor with reduced cost, lower volume and superior thermal properties. The major objectives of the development program included: • Optimization of the polymer dielectric to meet an 140ºC operating environment • Improvements to Sigma’s PML capacitor pilot line to allow the production of sample quantities of DC-Link capacitors • Evaluation of the thermal properties of the PML capacitors • Development of a thermal model to predict capacitor performance under various operating conditions • Electrical and environmental evaluation of PML capacitors based on AEC Q200 standard • Development of a package for PML capacitors • Development of a business plan to transition the PML capacitor technology into production.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]
  1. Sigma Technologies International Group, Inc., Tucson, AZ (United States)
  2. Delphi Technologies, Inc (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sigma Technologies International Group, Inc., Tucson, AZ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies Office (EE-3V); Delphi Technologies, Inc (United Kingdom)
OSTI Identifier:
1425352
Report Number(s):
PRO-0010012
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0006438
Type / Phase:
SBIR (Phase I)
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; Polymer capacitor; DC-link; inverter; polymer film; polymer multilayer; energy density; automotive; hybrid; electric

Citation Formats

Yializis, Angelo, and Taylor, Ralph S. High Temperature DC Bus Capacitor Cost Reduction & Performance Improvements. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Yializis, Angelo, & Taylor, Ralph S. High Temperature DC Bus Capacitor Cost Reduction & Performance Improvements. United States.
Yializis, Angelo, and Taylor, Ralph S. Thu . "High Temperature DC Bus Capacitor Cost Reduction & Performance Improvements". United States.
@article{osti_1425352,
title = {High Temperature DC Bus Capacitor Cost Reduction & Performance Improvements},
author = {Yializis, Angelo and Taylor, Ralph S.},
abstractNote = {The goal of this DOE program is to develop high temperature, high energy density, lower cost DC- Link capacitors, for inverters used in electric drive vehicles. Most electric motors in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (“HEVs”), Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (“PHVs”) and Electric Vehicles (“EVs”) are driven with variable AC voltage supplied by an inverter/converter power module that converts the DC battery voltage to three-phase AC voltage. A key component of the inverter circuit is the DC- Link capacitor used to minimize ripple current, voltage fluctuation, and transient suppression. The DC-Link capacitor is one of the largest, costliest, and most failure-prone components in today’s electric drive invertersystems. The principal weakness of present day DC- Link capacitors is their reliance on a low temperature thermoplastic polypropylene (“PP”) film dielectric. PP is the dielectric of choice for inverter capacitor applications due to its high breakdown strength and low dissipation factor. Major limitations of metallized PP film capacitors include volumetric efficiency, performance under high thermal loads and cost. The latter is especially effectual at lower voltage applications (400V) where PP films with a thickness of about 2.5 m are required that are costly to process. Metallized PP capacitors also do not meet the traditional “under-the-hood” requirements for automotive electronics. The standard temperature requirement for most passive components in the automotive industry has been 125ºC and it is evolving to 140°C. The industry has addressed this problem by reducing the ambient temperature specification for PP capacitors from 125ºC to 105ºC, and also by placing the capacitors on a water-cooled bus bar to extend their life and reliably. The supply chain for the production of PP capacitors is, for the most part, horizontally integrated. It includes the producer of the PP film, the toll metallizer, that deposits a patterned aluminum conductor onto the PP film, and the capacitor producer that winds the metallized film, forms electrical connections, and packages the capacitor (some large capacitor OEMs also metallize their films). The horizontal nature of the supply chain is principally due to the very high capital costs required to integrate the film production process as well as the corresponding depreciation costs. The result is that hundreds of capacitor OEMs use the same base films and capacitor products vary mainly in the way they are wound, formed and packaged, with little or no ability to innovate. Sigma Technologies (“Sigma”) has developed a disruptive process for producing polymer dielectric capacitors that overcome the limitations of PP film capacitors. Metallized self-supported films are replaced with deposited polymer dielectrics, metallized in-line with the polymer deposition process. Highly cross linked, high temperature polymers are formed, that have a thickness as low as 0.1μm, a wide range of dielectric constants and breakdown strength higher than that of PP. The supply chain for producing such capacitors is reduced to a single step performed by the capacitor OEM, in which aluminum wire and a liquid monomer are introduced into a machine to create a large area bulk capacitor material. Polymer Multi-Layer (PML) capacitors are produced by depositing 1000s of dielectric and aluminum electrode on a rotating process drum, forming a nanolaminate “mother capacitor” material, that is segmented and processed into individual capacitor elements. The PML process combines the conventional stepsof a) polymer dielectric formation, b) electrode deposition, and c) winding the capacitor, into a single continuous process performed in a single machine. This allows for complete vertical integration of the capacitor production process, where the capacitor OEM has complete control the dielectric chemistry, the polymer thickness and the electrode metallization process. Sigma partnered with Delphi Automotive Systems (“Delphi”) and Oak Ridge National Labs (“ORNL”) to respond to a DOE Vehicle Technologies Office solicitation to develop a DC-Link capacitor with reduced cost, lower volume and superior thermal properties. The major objectives of the development program included: • Optimization of the polymer dielectric to meet an 140ºC operating environment • Improvements to Sigma’s PML capacitor pilot line to allow the production of sample quantities of DC-Link capacitors • Evaluation of the thermal properties of the PML capacitors • Development of a thermal model to predict capacitor performance under various operating conditions • Electrical and environmental evaluation of PML capacitors based on AEC Q200 standard • Development of a package for PML capacitors • Development of a business plan to transition the PML capacitor technology into production.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {8}
}

Technical Report:
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