Research Papers

Thermal Management of High Density Power Electronics Modules Using Dielectric Mineral Oil With Applications in the Electric Utility Field for Smart Grid Protection

[+] Author and Article Information
Ronald Warzoha

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085

Amy S. Fleischer1

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Villanova University, Villanova, PA 19085amy.fleischer@villanova.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 3(4), 041005 (Oct 28, 2011) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004746 History: Received March 23, 2011; Revised July 26, 2011; Published October 28, 2011; Online October 28, 2011

The thermal management of high density power electronics can be extremely challenging due to high power loads paired with small device footprints. When these power electronics are used in systems, which require extremely high reliability, the design of the thermal abatement system takes on increasing importance. In this study, the thermal response of a solid state fault current limiter is analyzed in steady-state and failure mode to develop a thermal solution which is both economical and reliable. The solid state fault current limiter is used in electric distribution systems to prevent a current surge from reaching sensitive equipment downstream of a power plant in the event of a disturbance on the line. A parametric study on several design variables including power loading, device spacing, and system flowrate is completed to give insight into the development of an optimal design. A coldplate design using dielectric mineral oil, which minimizes both system footprint and operating cost, is developed. This analysis and thermal management solution is applicable not only to this situation but also to the other high density power electronics applications.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Building block arrangement of the SSCL electronics

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Figure 2

Twenty building blocks arranged in a double sided stack

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Figure 3

Final stack assembly in tank for outside installation of the 15 kV/4000 A three stack unit

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Figure 4

Heat sink model with forced convective flow through each fin passage

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Figure 5

Cold plate deign with single baffle

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Figure 6

Design of Experiments variations (a) building block spacing of 0, 32, and 64 mm and (b) stack spacing of 0, 209, and 418 mm.

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Figure 7

Transient inductor power profiles (a) bypass profile and (b) semibypass profile

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Figure 8

Typical isotherm for the heat sink design with SGTO modules overlaid

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Figure 9

15 kV/4000 A SSCL isotherm using 4 GPM flow rate with SGTO modules overlaid

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Figure 10

Cold plate flow path

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Figure 11

Stack separation vs. operating temperature as a function of applied power for 3 GPM flowrate and module separation of 32 mm

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Figure 12

Effect of module separation and stack separation on SGTO module operating temperature at 3300 W power and 3 GPM flowrate

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Figure 13

Effect of flow rate for a power loading of 3300 W and module separation of 32 mm

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Figure 14

Bypass mode inductor operating temperature for 69 kV/3000 A SSCL



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