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Open AccessArticle

Lifetime Analysis of IGBT Power Modules in Passively Cooled Tidal Turbine Converters

1
Maritime and Transportation Technology, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands
2
Electrical Sustainable Energy, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands
3
Institute for Energy Systems, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3DW, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands.
Energies 2020, 13(8), 1875; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13081875
Received: 10 March 2020 / Revised: 3 April 2020 / Accepted: 8 April 2020 / Published: 12 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reliability of Power Electronic Systems)
Thermal cycling is one of the major reasons for failure in power electronic converters. For submerged tidal turbine converters investigating this failure mode is critical in improving the reliability, and minimizing the cost of energy from tidal turbines. This paper considers a submerged tidal turbine converter which is passively cooled by seawater, and where the turbine has fixed-pitch blades. In this respect, this study is different from similar studies on wind turbine converters, which are mostly cooled by active methods, and where turbines are mostly pitch controlled. The main goal is to quantify the impact of surface waves and turbulence in tidal stream velocity on the lifetime of the converter IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) modules. The lifetime model of the IGBT modules is based on the accumulation of fatigue due to thermal cycling. Results indicate that turbulence and surface waves can have a significant impact on the lifetime of the IGBT modules. Furthermore, to accelerate the speed of the lifetime calculation, this paper uses a modified approach by dividing the thermal models into low and high frequency models. The final calculated lifetime values suggest that relying on passive cooling could be adequate for the tidal converters as far as thermal cycling is concerned. View Full-Text
Keywords: submerged power electronics; insulated gate bipolar transistors; lifetime estimation; passive cooling; thermal cycling; tidal turbines; turbulence; waves; active speed stall control submerged power electronics; insulated gate bipolar transistors; lifetime estimation; passive cooling; thermal cycling; tidal turbines; turbulence; waves; active speed stall control
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Wani, F.; Shipurkar, U.; Dong, J.; Polinder, H.; Jarquin-Laguna, A.; Mostafa, K.; Lavidas, G. Lifetime Analysis of IGBT Power Modules in Passively Cooled Tidal Turbine Converters. Energies 2020, 13, 1875.

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