Assembly of power electronics
Wherever electricity is produced, transported or used, power electronic components are applied. They are combined into modules, with each module accommodating several components, so-called power semiconductors. These power semiconductors are configured such that energy flow is controlled according to the power demand. For low-loss, power semiconductors are operated in switch mode. The higher the switching frequency, the smaller are the space needed and the weight of such systems. Such compact systems are beneficial in electric drives of electric cars and wind power plants.
State of the art
In order to reach high switching frequencies, however, an undesired property of power modules has to be minimized: the inductance. Inductance causes slower, high-loss switching processes as well as potential damage of power semiconductors right up to total system failures. Conventional power electronic modules have a layer structure: Onto a non-conductive carrier substrate, conductive structures are applied onto which power semiconductor chips are mounted. Modules are connected to external systems via bulky plug or screw contacts. This design produces undesired inductance and hardly any further electronic components can be integrated.
Researchers of the KIT Institute of Data Processing and Electronics (IPE) developed a novel concept for the design of low-inductance modules. For this purpose, a plate-shaped connection element is applied vertically to the main substrate for connection of the power electronics with the mainframe circuitry. It accommodates both forward and return conductors and connects the components electrically as well as mechanically. The compact design reduces the space required onto the module substrate.
By means of this new assembly concept, switching times, cooling effort as well as production times are reduced. The module-specific design of the connection element is subject to hardly any limits. For instance, the connector may act as a capacitor if it consists of several interlaced metallic and ceramic layers.
Options for companies
The KIT looks for partners for the further development and industrial use of this technology.
Your contact person for this offer
Dr. Rainer Körber,
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Innovation Manager, Innovation and Relations Management (IRM)
Phone: +49 721 608-25587