A large part of the global energy is consumed as electrical energy, therefore power electronics systems play a key role in future energy system. Electric energy is often converted several times by power electronics components into electrical systems before it is used. Power electronics applications are used for intelligent control of, for example, motors, fans and pumps, and if the systems are made more efficient, it could contribute to large profits in energy savings.
– In fact, the modules that hold the semiconductor components are responsible for the majority of the losses. And the chosen semiconductor technology generally affects the efficiency of the power electronics, says Jonas Ekman, Professor of Industrial Electronics and the one who will lead the project.
With the help of new technology, great progress has already been made in energy efficiency of power electronic applications. But the introduction of the new technology, called wide bandgap (WBG), is not uncomplicated. The new WBG power units work with higher frequencies and temperature than previous generations, and the packaging technology is a bottleneck. These problems result in a so-called semi-embossed skin effect that affects the system properties.
– The numerical techniques used to study these systems do not provide the necessary high accuracy that the new technology requires in terms of extraction and optimization of parasitic components. The new semiconductor components and its new packaging technology require new analysis and modeling techniques as support, says Jonas Ekman.
In the project, the researchers within the PEEC group, led by Jonas Ekman, will analyze the package layouts for WGB through a further development of the PEEC (Partial Element Equivalent Circuit) method for electrodynamic analysis. The electromagnetic model will be synthesized into a circuit description that correctly describes the package both in frequency and time domain. The model will support the design process by accelerating and optimizing it.
– With the help of the model, we will be able to contribute to accelerating the introduction of WBG in power electronics applications, and in the long term maximizing the energy efficiency of these systems.