Passive Two-Phase Cooling for Automotive Power Electronics

Gilberto Moreno, Jana R. Jeffers, Sreekant Narumanchi, Kevin Bennion

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations


Experiments were conducted to evaluate the use of a passive two-phase cooling strategy as a means of cooling automotive power electronics. The proposed cooling approach utilizes an indirect cooling configuration to alleviate some reliability concerns and to allow the use of conventional power modules. An inverter-scale proof-of-concept cooling system was fabricated and tested using the refrigerants hydrofluoroolefin HFO-1234yf and hydrofluorocarbon HFC-245 fa. Results demonstrated that the system can dissipate at least 3.5 kW of heat with 250 cm3of HFC-245fa. An advanced evaporator concept that incorporates features to improve performance and reduce its size was designed. Simulation results indicate the concept's thermal resistance can be 58% to 65% lower than automotive dual-side-cooled power modules. Tests were also conducted to measure the thermal performance of two air-cooled condensers-plain and rifled finned tube designs. The results combined with some analysis were then used to estimate the required condenser size per operating conditions and maximum allowable system (i.e., vapor and liquid) temperatures.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 4 Sep 2014
Event2014 30th Annual Semiconductor Thermal Measurement and Management Symposium (SEMI-THERM) - San Jose, California
Duration: 9 Mar 201413 Mar 2014


Conference2014 30th Annual Semiconductor Thermal Measurement and Management Symposium (SEMI-THERM)
CitySan Jose, California

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5400-61083 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-63183


  • Phase heat transfer
  • Power electronics
  • Thermal management
  • Two


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