We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Optimisation of High Reliability Integrated Motor Drives

CALDER, HUGO (2023) Optimisation of High Reliability Integrated Motor Drives. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (PhD thesis after finalising of corrections) - Accepted Version


The development of integrated motor drives (IMDs) with high volumetric power density and reliability are crucial for the continued development and adoption of electric vehicles (EV). The development of the wide bandgap (WBG) devices, especially Silicon Carbide (SiC) MOSFETs, enables new possibilities for traction drive systems. However, to maximise the benefits of SiC, the IMD design process, including passive component selection, control and thermal management should be optimised. This thesis goes through the initial major design steps in SiC power system design, from SiC device analysis and modelling to circuit design and electrothermal simulation of an IMD system.

A novel approach to discrete SiC MOSFET selection, using a method of calculating performance based on experimental data, is described. Dynamic behaviour of a family of 1200 V MOSFETs is studied at temperatures up to 175 °C using a double pulse test to show the combined effect of the differences in internal design between MOSFETs with different current ratings. It is observed that the 30 mΩ MOSFET had a 24 % higher switching loss than a 140 mΩ at a 30 A load current. The study then goes on to compare the effect of switching frequency, paralleling of MOSFETs and the device type used to demonstrate the inverter design with the lowest power losses, which will equate to low temperatures and high lifetime.

The novel methodology can find the optimal choice of MOSFET from the family, and number required through paralleling, for a circuit when given the load current, temperature and switching. Understanding the device interdependencies in a single family is utilised to also predict the relative performance between SiC MOSFETs from different manufacturers.

An axial-flux permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) driven by a three-phase SiC inverter is simulated in PLECS using experimentally validated MOSFET models chosen by the device selection methodology. Electrothermal analysis shows the influence of switching frequency, temperature, MOSFETs paralleling and DC-link capacitance on voltage ripple, total harmonic distortion, efficiency and MOSFET loss and temperature profiles. With a 60 % decrease in THD and 50 % increase in maximum MOSFET junction temperature when switching frequency is increased from 10 to 100 kHz.

The high-temperature stress on the semiconductors due to close proximity with the ma- chine stator means reliability is an important consideration that is yet to be fully investigated in IMD optimisations. This study uses a lifetime model specific to the transistor package TO-247 in reliability optimisation for IMD for the first time. It requires detailed MOSFET simulation outputs to provide a highly accurate lifetime for discrete SiC MOSFETs.

Both single and multi-objective optimisations of the volume and lifetime of the three- phase inverter are presented. The single objective optimisation demonstrates the minimum volume and the corresponding switching frequency and lifetime when between three and six MOSFETs are paralleled at a temperature range between 50 and 150 °C. Design constraints were set limiting the feasible switching frequency range to between 13 kHz because of THD and 118 kHz because of efficiency limits, corresponding to required DC-link capacitors of 520 and 55 μF respectively. Increases in temperature were found to further limit the maximum switching frequency and therefore increase the minimum volume of the inverter. A Pareto front identifies a range of possible solutions for the volume and lifetime of an inverter with six paralleled MOSFETs through the multi-objective objective procedure. Further analysis of these possible solutions identified a single optimal solution for the system, using a DC-link capacitance of 190 μF at 45 kHz, giving a combined volume of the capacitor and MOSFETs of 440 cm3 and a lifetime of 12,000 hours.

Finally, the electrothermal analysis of a dual inverter driving a symmetric six-phase PMSM is presented with the benefits of modular multi-phase systems in IMDs summarised. Effect on performance of lower per-phase current, interleaving strategies and fault tolerance are analysed and compared to equivalent three-phase systems, for 60 kW and 120 kW operation.

A novel method for lifetime prediction of systems with paralleled MOSFETs or fault tolerance capabilities considering incremental damage is developed based on TO-247 lifetime calculations from PLECS simulation, and component-level reliability profiles using Monte Carlo analysis. The dual inverter is used to model the system and implements control schemes for both single-phase and single inverter failure while maintaining the 4000 rpm and 140 Nm speed and torque requirements. A twofold increase in B10 lifetime of is observed when the effect of paralleled SiC MOSFETs prevents immediate system failure in a three-phase inverter.

A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and 3D finite element thermal model are designed to study the inverter behaviour based on the thermal analysis of its shared cooling plate with a 300 mm diameter axial flux PMSM. Concentric layout designs minimise the variation of junction temperatures to 5 °C and the effect of the flow rate and temperature of the coolant in the PMSM cold plate is presented between 5 and 30 l/min.

The multi-objective optimisation procedure used to compare the dual inverter demonstrated it outperformed the three-phase inverter with 15 % smaller required DC-link capacitance, higher efficiency and increased lifetime in part due to its fault-tolerant nature. The optimal dual inverter considering the design constraints consists of four 40 μF KEMET film capacitors operating with a switching frequency of 46 kHz giving an inverter volume of 300 cm3 and a lifetime of 16.3 years, assuming 1000 hours of operation annually.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Power electronics, Integrated motor drive, SiC MOSFET, Reliability, Optimisation
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Engineering, Department of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:20 Oct 2023 08:29

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter