Title page for ETD etd-02112003-215228

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Witcher, Joseph Brandon
Author's Email Address jwitcher@vt.edu
URN etd-02112003-215228
Title Methodology for Switching Characterization of Power Devices and Modules
Degree Master of Science
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Boroyevich, Dushan Committee Chair
Lai, Jason Committee Member
Odendaal, Willem Gerhardus Committee Member
  • switching characteristics
  • IPEM
  • power module
  • power MOSFET
Date of Defense 2003-01-29
Availability unrestricted
In modern power electronics systems there is a growing trend to replace discrete devices with integrated power electronic modules (IPEMs). In this way, several components can be replaced by a single component. By using prefabricated building blocks, the engineer simplifies the design process, reducing the total design cycle time and cost. By integrating only the necessary components to provide power switching, the end user has a pre-optimized building block with the flexibility to be used in a large variety of applications.

Besides simplifying the design process, power modules should be designed in such a way as to improve the performance of the power converter. This begs the question as to how best to judge if one IPEM has better performance than another or better performance than its discrete counterpart. In analyzing a converter’s performance, popular criteria include efficiency, power density, device stresses, and EMI. All of these criteria are strongly linked to the switching characteristics of the IPEM’s power devices.

This thesis is a comprehensive study of the requirements for obtaining and analyzing the switching characteristics of the IPEM’s power devices. It outlines the important switching characteristics and the implications of each characteristic on converter performance. It deals with the relevant measurement issues, specifically addressing the minimum requirements, which sensors are most suitable, and problems leading to inaccurate data. A parametric study is conducted to determine the effects of several circuit and operating parameters on the switching characteristics. Using the resulting data and the knowledge from the measurement study, we can decide how to design the testbed layout, what operating conditions should be chosen for testing, and what effects of the tester must be decoupled to truly see the effects of IPEM design. The thesis concludes with the design of standard test equipment and procedures.

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