Embedded power electronics for automotive applications
The automotive industry has a strong demand for highly reliable and cost-efficient electronics. Especially the upcoming generations of hybrid cars and fully electrical vehicles need compact and efficient 400 V power modules. Within the engine compartment installation space is of major concern. Therefore small size and high integration level of the modules are needed. Conventionally IGBTs and diodes are soldered to DCB (Direct Copper Bond) ceramics substrates and their top contacts are connected by heavy Al wire bonds. These ceramic modules are vacuum soldered to water-cooled base plates. Embedding of power switches, and controller into compact modules using PCB (Printed Circuit Board) technologies offers the potential to further improve the thermal management by double-sided cooling and to reduce the thickness of the module. In a German funded project named 'HI-LEVEL' partners from industry and research are developing a next generation of automotive power modules with e mbedded components. The final goal is a 50 kW inverter for hybrid electrical cars. In the paper the ongoing development and realization of a 10 kW test vehicle is described.