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Energies 2012, 5(7), 2559-2577; doi:10.3390/en5072559

The Impact of Power Switching Devices on the Thermal Performance of a 10 MW Wind Power NPC Converter

*  and
Department of Energy Technology, Institute of Energy Technology, Aalborg University, Pontoppidanstraede 101, DK-9220 Aalborg East, Denmark
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 May 2012 / Revised: 25 June 2012 / Accepted: 9 July 2012 / Published: 17 July 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrical Power and Energy Systems)
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Power semiconductor switching devices play an important role in the performance of high power wind energy generation systems. The state-of-the-art device choices in the wind power application as reported in the industry include IGBT modules, IGBT press-pack and IGCT press-pack. Because of significant deviation in the packaging structure, electrical characteristics, as well as thermal impedance, these available power switching devices may have various thermal cycling behaviors, which will lead to converter solutions with very different cost, size and reliability performance. As a result, this paper aimed to investigate the thermal related characteristics of some important power switching devices. Their impact on the thermal cycling of a 10 MW three-level Neutral-Point-Clamped wind power converter is then evaluated under various operating conditions; the main focus will be on the grid connected inverter. It is concluded that the thermal performances of the 3L-NPC wind power converter can be significantly changed by the power device technology as well as their parallel configurations.
Keywords: wind power; power switching devices; inverter; thermal performance wind power; power switching devices; inverter; thermal performance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ma, K.; Blaabjerg, F. The Impact of Power Switching Devices on the Thermal Performance of a 10 MW Wind Power NPC Converter. Energies 2012, 5, 2559-2577.

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