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Nextgen EV components: Integration of advanced power electronics and associated controls (2ZERO)

In the constant drive to improve efficiency and performance while increasing affordability, the recent introduction of wide bandgap (WBG) technologies (such as SiC, GaN and beyond, whose development is excluded in this topic since it is covered in the KDT partnership) need further effort for their integration in new, on-board architectures, taking into account new powertrain generations with different voltage levels, e.g. 400V, 800V and higher.

Achieving innovative compact integrated solutions will be both a strong lever for future economies of scale and a strong advantage for flexibility that will satisfy user’s needs and increase acceptance, as well as an enabler for new powertrain architectures with distributed multiple wheel drive.

Proposals are expected to address all the following:

  • System-partitioning/-integration: Intelligent, redundant and fail-safe topology/system architecture; highly integrated power electronics with component integration and building-block approaches for minimal level of parasitics; integration and functional modularity of power converters (integrated on-board charger and traction inverter, integrated inverter and electric motor, integrated DC/DC and inverter, high-frequency DC/DC power conversion with WBG components).
  • Circuit concepts and control: Topologies adapted to advanced WBG semiconductors and new materials, “including & beyond GaN”; control approaches for improved reliability as well as reduction of losses, noise and interference at a system level; novel control strategies with self-learning and intelligent monitoring capabilities, suitable for very high-frequency operation.
  • Interconnected technologies: robust assembly and materials, better suited for integration and new power semiconductors, alongside the capability for higher temperatures and currents, as well as extension to 3D design.
  • Joining and connecting technologies: Power output stages with low impedance connection and increased robustness against temperature cycling, as well as advanced interfaces for modular building blocks.
  • Thermal management: Module and component concepts with improved thermal performance; concepts for integrating cooling in housings, assemblies and component groups, and with environmental control if appropriate; direct liquid-cooling for high power can be considered through different solutions such as direct cooling with an immersed power module, jet impingement and spray, microchannel heatsinks or heat pipes; extension of air-cooling up to medium power levels.
  • Simulation/Prediction: Holistic simulation chain (e.g. along the value chain: Vehicle/ Motor/Electronics/IC); advanced physics-based simulation tools/models to increase development capabilities in order to close the gap to physical limits and reduce over-engineering; prediction of functional availability dynamically during operation predictive maintenance.
  • Gate Drivers: integration of the driver component with the power module to limit the stray inductance between the gate driver and the semiconductor; the gate driver should allow maximum switching speed by dealing with electromagnetic interferences (EMI) to drive wide bandgap devices.

This topic implements the co-programmed European Partnership on ‘Towards zero emission road transport’ (2ZERO).