Power electronics is the key component to ensure efficient and sustainable electric production and consumption. It is used in order to adjust renewable energy sources like wind and solar to the grid frequency as well as to supply the right frequency for the speed control of a drive train. It is used for LED headlamps, electric cars, wind energy power plant, gas turbine power plants... Exact compliance with the limit temperatures is mandatory in order to avoid thermo-mechanical stresses, which would dramatically shorten the life expectancy of the materials. Efficient cooling is indispensable in order to achieve the highest power density with the least amount of space.
The thermal contact to the cooling device occurs with conductive Thermal Interface Materials. For practical cases, it is unclear how the TIM is filled; the resulting thermal resistant is vaguely estimated, which results in a supplementary imprecision of the thermal calculation. The best method is to measure the thermal resistance, complete measurement systems like T3ster can be therefore utilized.
Streamlines through the heat sink of a power module
The cooling of the power electronics is so important that it should be
sketched as early as during the concept phase. The 3D Computational Fluid
Dynamics is the ideal tool to precisely analyze the temperature and flow
field; hot spots can be localized and eliminated. With relatively little
effort, it is possible to obtain fast and effective computational results.
These will make viewable optimization potentials which can then be achieved
with further thermal simulations.
CFD Tools such as FloTherm or FloEFD work with a Cartesian grid and specialize in ventilation and cooling of the electronics. They are much more suitable than tools with complex grid generation.
Streamlines in the enclosure of a frequency converter
The webinar Cooling of a Wind Power Station IGBT has been recorded. - You will learn: - Why frequency converters need cooling, - Why the thermal resistance of the Thermal Interface Materials matters, - How to set-up a transient case for low frequencies ...
Article about E-Cooling in Mai 2017
periodical Engineering Edge
(Vol. 6, Issue 1; pages 18-19)