Advanced Liquid Cooling for a Traction Drive Inverter Using Jet Impingement and Microfinned Enhanced Surfaces: Preprint

Scot Waye, Sreekant Narumanchi, Gilberto Moreno, Kevin Bennion

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Jet impingement on plain and micro-finned enhanced surfaces was compared to a traditional channel flow configuration. The jets provide localized cooling to areas heated by the insulated-gate bipolar transistor and diode devices. Enhanced microfinned surfaces increase surface area and thermal performance. Using lighter materials and designing the fluid path to manage pressure losses increases overall performance while reducing weight, volume, and cost. Powering four diodes in the center power module of the inverter and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling was used to characterize the baseline as well as jet-impingement-based heat exchangers. CFD modeling showed the thermal performance improvements should hold for a fully powered inverter. Increased thermal performance was observed for the jet-impingement configurations when tested at full inverter power (40 to 100 kW output power) on a dynamometer. The reliability of the jets and enhanced surfaces over time was also investigated. Experimentally, the junction-to- coolant thermal resistance was reduced by up to 12.5% for jet impingement on enhanced surfaces s compared to the baseline channel flow configuration.Base plate-to-coolant (convective) resistance was reduced by up to 37.0% for the jet-based configuration compared to the baseline, suggesting that while improvements to the cooling side reduce overall resistance, reducing the passive stack resistance may contribute to lowering overall junction-to-coolant resistance. Full inverter power testing showed reduced thermal resistance from the middle of the module baseplate to coolant of up to 16.5%. Between the improvement in thermal performance and pumping power, the coefficient of performance improved by up to 13% for the jet-based configuration.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2014
EventITherm 2014 - Orlando, Florida
Duration: 27 May 201430 May 2014


ConferenceITherm 2014
CityOrlando, Florida

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-61060


  • heat transfer
  • power electronics
  • thermal management


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