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Feasibility study of intelligent High Integrated Power Electronic Module (HIPEM) for Aeronautic Application

Final Report Summary - HYPOTHESIS (Feasibility study of intelligent High Integrated Power Electronic Module (HIPEM) for Aeronautic Application)

Executive Summary:
A 3-Phase 1200V/150A SiC MOSFET Intelligent Power Module (IPM), including both the power devices and the isolated gate driver, was specified, designed, manufactured and tested to meet the requirements of the More Electrical Aircraft in developing smaller and lighter power converters (see picture in Figure 1 of Annex 1). This power module is based on advanced materials to enable high temperature operation and to achieve the highest reliability.

Project Context and Objectives:
The goal of HYPOTHESIS project was to study the feasibility of next generation of intelligent highly integrated power modules with the objectives to achieve drastic weight and volume reduction necessary for the More and All Electrical Aircraft. This project is also done in the context of the emergence of new Silicon Carbide transistors offering low switching losses and high temperature operation, meaning lower cooling requirements, and hence smaller and lighter power converters.

The objective of the project was to support this feasibility study with the manufacturing of prototypes of an Intelligent Power Module (IPM) including new Silicon Carbide power devices, MOSFET’s and diodes, and the gate driver, placed as close as possible to the power transistors in order to minimize the gate inductance, achieve fast switching and low switching energies. This power module was expected to use advanced materials to enable high temperature operation and to achieve the highest reliability.

Project Results:
The first part of the project was dedicated to the specification (WP1) and the concept design of the power module (WP2): a lot of effort was put in defining the specifications of an IPM answering to the requirements of high density power converters for the More Electric Aircraft, in particular for electric power generations. It resulted in an IPM with the following specifications:
- A 1200V/100A-150A 3-phase SiC MOSFET Power Inverter Topology (see picture in Figure 2 of Annex 1)
- A powerful and temperature-robust isolated gate driver based on CISSOID HADES® chipset
- A package with size and connectivity compatible with EconoPACKTM 4 packages
- High dV/dt and dI/dt robustness for compatibility with fast switching transistors
- Case temperature: -55°C to 125°C
- Junction temperature: -55°C to 200°C
- Use of advanced materials (AlSiC baseplate, AlN substrate, High temperature die/substrate attach and gels) for high reliability against power cycling

The WP3 was dedicated to the design of the power module and included:
- 3D mechanical design of the module and subcomponents (see picture in Figure 3 of Annex 1)
- Thermal design based on FE simulations (see picture in Figure 4 of Annex 1)
- Electrical design for the power topology and the gate driver

This WP was concluded with the 3D virtual assembly of the power module and gate driver (see picture in Figure 5 of Annex 1).

Then, the IPM prototypes were manufactured during WP4 and characterized during WP5.

Potential Impact:
With the results of HYPOTHESIS project, we expect to support the adoption of new Silicon Carbide (SiC) devices in Aerospace applications, in particular for power generation and electro-mechanical actuators. New SiC transistors will enable smaller and lighter power converters for the More Electrical Aircraft while helping to reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs. The results of this project will also help to increase the reliability of power modules operating in harsh power cycling and high temperature environments thanks to the use and validation of new materials for baseplates, substrates, die attach, gels or plastic.

Dissemination was mainly done through presentations in high temperature and power electronics workshops and conferences:
- DeciElec 2015 Conference in Tarbes on Embedded Systems
- ISICPEAW 2015 Conference in Stockholm on Silicon Carbide Applications
- HiTEN 2015 Conference in Cambridge on High Temperature Electronics
- 2015 ECPE Workshop on Drivers, Control and Protection Circuits for MOSFETs and IGBTs in Hanovre

In terms of exploitation results, we have developed a first prototype of a 1200V/150A 3-Phase Intelligent Power Module (IPM) as well as all the related know-how in terms of specification, design, manufacturing and testing. The module prototype has reached a TRL3 and we will continue to work to bring it at TRL6 where it could be considered in new power converter designs.

The know-how developed in the project will also allow CISSOID to address new applications and market such as Railways and Automotive.

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