Novel Power Electronics Three-Dimensional Heat Exchanger: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Electric drive systems for vehicle propulsion enable technologies critical to meeting challenges for energy, environmental, and economic security. Enabling cost-effective electric drive systems requires reductions in inverter power semiconductor area. As critical components of the electric drive system are made smaller, heat removal becomes an increasing challenge. 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 heat flux improvement of a factor of two, and a package heat density improvement over 30%, which achieved the thermal performance targets.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2014
EventITherm 2014 - Orlando, Florida
Duration: 27 May 201430 May 2014


ConferenceITherm 2014
CityOrlando, Florida

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-61041


  • aluminum extrusions
  • electric drives
  • electric vehicles
  • inverter
  • power electronics
  • thermal management
  • water-ethylene glycol


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