ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
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3-phase ac-dc converter tolerates high-temp environments

Center for Power Electronics Systems

Read more about power electronics at www.cpes.vt.edu.

The high-temperature converter with two graphs showing how it deals with heat

From top: This prototype ac-dc converter can operate in ambient temperatures up to 150° C; a heat map showing the temperatures on the converter; a graph showing the converter’s performance.

A CPES research team has developed a three-phase ac-dc converter for harsh industrial environments that preliminary tests show operates in up to 150° C ambient temperatures. Converters for industrial harsh environments require not just high-temperature semiconductor devices, but also high-temperature gate drive, passive components and control electronics, according to Ruxi Wang, a Ph.D. student on the project.

With a high-temperature SiC power module and high-temperature mother board implementing the required functions, the 1.4 kW prototype converter has been tested to operate between -50° C and 150° C ambient temperatures, with the junction temperature of the SiC power module reaching 250° C.