Posted on 16 April 2020

Web-based Simulation Tool to Simplify IGBT Selection and Thermal Design in Minutes




By Kristofer Eberle, Plexim and Jiangmin Chunyu and Andrea Gorgerino, International Rectifier, An Infineon Technologies Company

For a given voltage, current rating and package type, there can be many possible IGBT candidates. Additionally, the designer has to ensure that the power stage operates reliably within the thermal constraints. To alleviate these two headaches of power electronics system designers, International Rectifier has added a new web-based simulation feature (IGBT WebSim) to its web site. This helps the engineer quickly select the appropriate IGBT components and obtain the power loss information for their specific application design. The new tool has been developed based on PLECS software, by Plexim, used for the development of power electronic systems. Plexim recently released a version of their offline simulator for running on a web server.

IGBT WebSim (Figure 1) consists of two independent tools:

(1) IGBT Selector- Users can select the application type and input general filter parameters (e.g. package type, dc bus voltage, etc.). The tool uses these data to calculate power losses and reduce the list of candidates to devices that would operate at a junction temperature at least 25°C (by default) below maximum junction temperature rating. The short list of potential candidates is shown sorted by power losses; for a more in-depth application-specific analysis, users can be directed to the IGBT Simulator web page once they select the IGBT parts and click the IGBT Simulator button.

(2) IGBT Simulator- Leveraging the fast and robust PLECS simulation engine and its intuitive schematic interface, the IGBT Simulator implements the specific application models listed on the IGBT Selector tool web page. For example, the first iteration of IGBT Simulator includes a three-phase motor drive inverter system with a collection of currently offered IGBT discrete devices. The user can choose various source and load parameters, modulation strategies, and device ratings. Live simulated waveforms can be observed as well as data tables showing calculations for losses in the inverter and junction temperatures of each device. Additionally, the visitor can compare the effect of parameter variations or the operation of different parts directly. Questions such as the efficiency of the power stage of a converter or heat sink or cooling system sizing will be answered at an early stage of the development process.

IGBT WebSim suits engineers of different levels of familiarity with International Rectifier IGBT products. If web page visitors already have made their IGBT selection, they can directly visit the IGBT Simulator web page. In this way one can virtually specify and test a component without downloading a software package or ordering prototypes.

Additionally, the thermal description files containing the loss models and thermal impedance information can be downloaded to be used in PLECS offline, so International Rectifier parts can be included directly in application-specific designs. PLECS Standalone can be obtained from Plexim’s web site and has a free demo mode allowing access to a collection of pre-built designs. Free PLECS trial licenses can also be requested online for custom model development. Existing PLECS users can also now use International Rectifier’s collection of parts.


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