Development of a numerical model for power module cooling infrastructures

BSc / MSc

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Development of a numerical model for power module cooling infrastructures

Context

Prodrive technologies is a developer and manufacturer of world-class electronics. It comprises over 1300 employees and is one of the fastest growing companies in Europe. Our organization is based on two groups: Development and Operations. The Development department is oriented at developing first-rate electronic, mechanic and software solutions. The operations department is responsible for production, assembly, testing and life-cycle-management of electronic products and systems in the range of 1 to more than a million pieces per year.

Within Prodrive, numerous products incorporate power modules and discrete semiconductor devices. These modules package power semiconductors and are often off-the-shelf products which are not typically optimized for thermal performance. In line with Prodrive’s ‘vertical integration’ way of working, we have started developing our own customised power module designs.

The power semiconductors generally dissipate a significant amount of heat due to switching and electrical conduction losses. The heat dissipation leads to the materials in the package heating up. The problem is increased by the pulsation of power leading to the power dissipation in the transistors to vary, resulting in significant thermal cycles. Due to the variation in thermal expansion coefficient of the materials in the module, changes in temperature induce stress both in and between the various layers. Hence, thermal cycling is the main reason that power modules will fail in time. In many products the power device is the limiting component in terms of lifetime and reliability, improving the design or cooling of the module therefore has a direct impact on wider system performance.

 

There are multiple methods to optimize the transistor (referred to as die) packaging, for example by minimizing the thermal resistance between junction to coolant, matching the thermal expansion coefficients of the materials used in the package, or by optimizing the design electrically to decrease the electrical losses. These solutions can lead to higher lifetime or higher power density when using the same die, or to lower cost for the same performance by using lower rated dies.

When moving from Silicon (Si) to Silicon Carbide (SiC) or Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology the heat flux significantly increases as the same power is dissipated over a smaller surface area. The smaller surface area leads to a shift in the contribution of each material layer to the total thermal resistance from die to coolant.

Assignment

Develop a numerical model for power module cooling infrastructures

Deliverables

  • Develop a numerical model which is able to predict the thermal behaviour of a selected power device when mounted to:
    • the most common coldplate within Prodrive, a Prodrive custom coldplate
    • a pinfin baseplate (liquid cooled)
    • Convection cooled extruded heatsink
  • Verify the model experimentally (TBD: by FEM)
  • Analyse the various cooling strategies and identify areas for future optimisation
  • The numerical model should consider the following:
    • Die size, material, losses
    • Stack materials and geometry
    • Cooling strategy employed
    • The significance of flow rate, pressure loss, coolant type etc. during operation
    • The influence of other power devices in the vicinity

 

Important note: all our graduation assignments are dependent on time. Please see them as an example of the many great things you can do at Prodrive Technologies. If you have the same passion for technology as we do, we always have an assignment for you!

 

Benefits as a student

Next to the benefits which are true for every Prodriver that are listed below, some special benefits must be highlighted for students. First of all you will be treated as a real Prodriver. Your opinion and ideas will be heard and treated as full. Next to this you will get the chance to work with colleagues with a very high level of knowledge in their field and get the chance to use our world class lab and production facilities for your graduation assignment.

浦卓的福利

当你可以证明自己是浦卓的合适人选时,你会在多方面得到回报:你将在公司内获得个人发展的机会,习得大量的专业知识并可在多个方向建立自己的职业规划。浦卓会定期与你一起评估你的职业规划,确保其与你自己制定的个人发展计划相符。除此之外,你会毫无疑问地获得一份非常有市场竞争力的薪资水平以及福利标准。你的薪资会随着你的专业发展一同快速增长,你甚至有机会成为公司的持股人。以上所有都可以在浦卓得以实现。浦卓科技在过去的20多年里保持着每年平均25%的增长速率,可以为你提供一个优秀的发展平台。

关于浦卓

世界上只有为数不多的几家远负盛名的高科技公司。根据我们客户的用户体验,浦卓有幸成为其中之一。浦卓科技是由几位毕业于爱因霍芬理工大学的技术人才于1993年创立的。从那之后,得益于成功的商业理念以及年轻有活力的团队(员工平均年龄28岁),浦卓科技每年都以惊人的速度在发展壮大。现如今,浦卓科技在全球拥有超过1300名技艺精湛、积极性高并且目标导向的员工,全职人力工时1100。

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