Novel Power Electronics Three-Dimensional Heat Exchanger

Kevin Bennion, Justin Cousineau, Jason Lustbader, Sreekant Narumanchi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


Electric-drive systems, which include electric machines and power electronics, are a key enabling technology to meet increasing automotive fuel economy standards, improve energy security, address environmental concerns, and support economic development. Enabling cost-effective electric-drive systems requires reductions in inverter power semiconductor area, which increases challenges associated with heat removal. In this paper, we demonstrate an integrated approach to the design of thermal management systems for power semiconductors that matches the passive thermal resistance of the packaging with the active convective cooling performance of the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger concept builds on existing semiconductor thermal management improvements described in literature and patents, which include improved bonded interface materials, direct cooling of the semiconductor packages, and double-sided cooling. The key difference in the described concept is the achievement of high heat transfer performance with less aggressive cooling techniques by optimizing the passive and active heat transfer paths. An extruded aluminum design was selected because of its lower tooling cost, higher performance, and scalability in comparison to cast aluminum. Results demonstrated a 102% heat flux improvement and a package heat density improvement over 30%, which achieved the thermal performance targets.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 4 Sep 2014
Event14th InterSociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems, ITherm 2014 - Orlando, United States
Duration: 27 May 201430 May 2014


Conference14th InterSociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems, ITherm 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5400-61041 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-63176


  • aluminum extrusions
  • electric drive
  • electric vehicle
  • heat exchanger
  • inverter
  • power electronics
  • thermal management
  • water-ethylene glycol


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