Power Electronics

Thermal Solutions for Power Electronics

Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT). One of several prevalent power electronics

Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT). One of several prevalent power electronics

In power electronics devices even small inefficiencies can result in large amounts of waste heat due to the large electrical currents and voltages that are transformed. Power electronics devices will exceed their safe operating temperature limits if the large amount of waste heat is not effectively dissipated.

Air and liquid cooling are the two heat sinking methods commonly practiced in industry. Although these two thermal management methods are straightforward in principle, there are a multitude of material and design options that can significantly impact cost and performance. ACT understands the specific needs of the power electronics cooling industry and will design thermally optimized, cost effective solutions. ACT has experience cooling all major power electronics devices including:

  • IGBTs
  • Thyristors
  • SCRs
  • IPMs
  • GaN
  • Devices

These power electronics cooling specific needs include working in high voltage environments, understanding the relation between package level and heat sink level thermal management, and the relatively high reliability requirements. Air cooled heat sinks with or without embedded heat pipes have the highest reliability, lowest operating cost and lowest maintenance costs. Liquid cooled solutions can handle the highest power loads and power densities provided that measures are taken to ensure the dielectric properties of the coolants involved.

Systems such as automated manufacturing equipment rely on high power electronics to function. Thermal management is critical for safe operation.

Systems such as automated manufacturing equipment rely on high power electronics to function. Thermal management is critical for safe operation.

ACT has in-depth thermal expertise in both air cooled heat pipe heat sinks and liquid cooled systems for power electronics thermal management. ACT also has several product lines and solutions to meet the needs of the power electronics industry. For air cooled heat sink solutions, ACT’s HiK™  plates, Vapor Chambers, and heat pipe assemblies are the perfect choice. For systems that require liquid cooling, ACT has custom cold plate fabrication capabilities and system level design expertise to meet any design requirement. A summary of ACT product lines relevant to the power electronics industry can be found below.