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Reliability Assessment of IGBT Through Modelling and Experimental Testing

Ahsan, Mominul
How, Siew Teay
Batunlu, Canras
Albarbar, Alhussein
Lifetime of power electronic devices, in particular those used for wind turbines, is short due to the generation of thermal stresses in their switching device e.g., IGBT particularly in the case of high switching frequency. This causes premature failure of the device leading to an unreliable performance in operation. Hence, appropriate thermal assessment and implementation of associated mitigation procedure are required to put in place in order to improve the reliability of the switching device. This paper presents two case studies to demonstrate the reliability assessment of IGBT. First, a new driving strategy for operating IGBT based power inverter module is proposed to mitigate wire-bond thermal stresses. The thermal stress is characterised using finite element modelling and validated by inverter operated under different wind speeds. High-speed thermal imaging camera and dSPACE system are used for real time measurements. Reliability of switching devices is determined based on thermoelectric (electrical and/or mechanical) stresses during operations and lifetime estimation. Second, machine learning based data-driven prognostic models are developed for predicting degradation behaviour of IGBT and determining remaining useful life using degradation raw data collected from accelerated aging tests under thermal overstress condition. The durations of various phases with increasing collector-emitter voltage are determined over the device lifetime. A data set of phase durations from several IGBTs is trained to develop Neural Network (NN) and Adaptive Neuro Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) models, which is used to predict remaining useful life (RUL) of IGBT. Results obtained from the presented case studies would pave the path for improving the reliability of IGBTs.