A Thorough Review of Cooling Concepts and Thermal Management Techniques for Automotive WBG Inverters: Topology, Technology and Integration Level

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Abstract

The development of electric vehicles (EVs) is an important step towards clean and green cities. An electric powertrain provides power to the vehicle and consists of a charger, a battery, an inverter, and a motor as the main components. Supplied by a battery pack, the automotive inverter manages the power of the motor. EVs require a highly efficient inverter, which satisfies low cost, size, and weight requirements. One approach to meeting these requirements is to use the new wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors, which are being widely investigated in the industry as an alternative to silicon switches. WBG devices have superior intrinsic properties, such as high thermal flux, of up to 120 W/cm2 (on average); junction temperature of 175–200 °C; blocking voltage limit of about 6.5 kV; switching frequency about 20-fold higher than that of Si; and up to 73% lower switching losses with a lower conduction voltage drop. This study presents a review of WBG-based inverter cooling systems to investigate trends in cooling techniques and changes associated with the use of WBG devices. The aim is to consider suitable cooling techniques for WBG inverters at different power levels.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4981
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalEnergies
Volume14
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • cooling system
  • wide-bandgap (WBG
  • silicon carbide (SiC)
  • gallium nitride (GaN)
  • automotive inverter
  • electric vehicle

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