PWM Converter Power Density Barriers
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Power density of power electronic converters has roughly doubled every 10 years since 1970. Behind this trajectory is the continuous advancement of power semiconductor devices, which has increased the converter switching frequencies by a factor of 10 every decade. However, today's cooling concepts and passive components are major barriers for a continuation of this trend. To identify such technological barriers, this paper investigates the volume of the cooling system and passive components as a function of the switching frequency for power electronic converters and determines the switching frequency that minimizes the total volume. A power density limit of 28kW/dm<sup>3</sup> at 300kHz is calculated for an isolated DC-DC converter, 44kW/dm<sup>3</sup> at 820kHz for a three-phase unity power factor PWM rectifier, and 26kW/dm<sup>3</sup> at 21kHz for a sparse matrix converter. For single-phase AC-DC conversion a general limit of 35kW/dm<sup>3</sup> results from the DC link capacitor. These power density limits highlight the need to broaden the scope of power electronics research to include cooling systems, high frequency electromagnetics, interconnection and packaging technology, and multi-domain modelling and simulation to ensure further advancement along the power density trajectory.
- IEEJ Transactions on Sensors and Micromachines
IEEJ Transactions on Sensors and Micromachines 128(4), 468-480, 2008-04-01
The Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan