Cooling of Power Electronics by Embedded Solids

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Dirker

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg, 2006 South Africajaco.dirker@up.ac.za

J. D. van Wyk

Center for Power Electronic Systems, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, VA 24061 and Industrial Electronics Technology Research, Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg, 2006 South Africa

J. P. Meyer

Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Pretoria, 0002 South Africa

J. Electron. Packag 128(4), 388-397 (Dec 21, 2005) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2351903 History: Received May 25, 2005; Revised December 21, 2005

Thermal issues have become a major consideration in the design and development of electronic components. In power electronics, thermal limitations have been identified as a barrier to future developments such as three-dimensional integration. This paper proposes internal embedded cooling of high-density integrated power electronic modules that consist of materials with low thermal conductivity and evaluates it in terms of dimensional, material property, and thermal interfacial resistance ranges. Enhanced component conductivity was identified as a possible economically viable internal cooling option. Thermal performance calculations were performed numerically for conductive cooling of internal component/module regions via parallel-running embedded solids. Thermal advantage per volume usage by the embedded solids was furthermore optimized in terms of a wide range of geometric, material, and thermal parameters. In the dimensional and material property range commonly found in passive power electronic modules, parallel-running cooling layers were identified as an efficient cooling configuration. Numerically based thermal performance models were subsequently developed for parallel-running cooling inserts. A multifunctional experimental setup was constructed to study the cooling of ferrite (operated as a magnetic core) by means of embedded aluminium nitride layers and to verify the thermal model. Results corresponded well with theoretically anticipated performance increases. However, interfacial thermal resistance constituted a major limitation to the cooling performance and future power density increases. With the thermal model developed, functional optimization in terms of magnetic flux density for parallel-running cooling layer configurations was performed for a wide range of material and geometric conditions.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic representation of proposed solid state cooling system configuration

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Figure 2

Definition of relative temperature nodes and grid dimensions

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Figure 3

Optimum cooling insert aspect ratios for a wide range of γ with Rint=0m2K∕W

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Figure 4

Optimum cooling insert aspect ratios for a wide range of Rint with γ=42.5

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Figure 5

Cooling layers (aC,rel=1)

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Figure 6

Thermal advantages obtained by geometric optimization diminishing with reduction in AD values

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Figure 7

A schematic representation of the transient-state comparison test setup

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Figure 8

Experimental and numerical transient-state temperature responses

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Figure 9

Two-dimensional model for analyzing the thermal performance of a cooling layer configuration

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Figure 10

Thermal performance improvement for Rintbeing zero

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Figure 11

Theoretical predicted E%,effective values for the current geometry

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Figure 12

Schematic representation of embedded cooling layer experimental setup

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Figure 13

Comparison in linear relationship with thermal pad interfaces to the heat sinks

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Figure 14

Optimum α for the experimental test case geometry using aluminium nitride cooling inserts at different interfacial resistances



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