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Characterization of Partial Discharge Activities in WBG Power Converters under Low-Pressure Condition

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Refat Atef Ghunem
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5394; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175394
Received: 18 July 2021 / Revised: 24 August 2021 / Accepted: 26 August 2021 / Published: 30 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dielectric and Electrical Insulation Measurements)
Many sectors, such as transportation systems, are undergoing rapid electrification due to the need for the mitigation of CO2 emissions. To ensure safe and reliable operation, the electrical equipment must be able to work under various environmental conditions. At high altitudes, the low pressure can adversely affect the health of insulating materials of electrical systems in electric aircraft. A well-known, primary aging mechanism in dielectrics is partial discharge (PD). This study targets internal PD evaluation in an insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) module under low-pressure conditions. The estimation of electric field distribution is conducted through 3D finite element analysis (FEA) using COMSOL Multiphysics®. The procedure of PD detection and transient modeling is performed in MATLAB for two pressure levels (atmospheric and half-atmospheric). The case study is the IGBT module with a void or two voids in the proximity of triple joints. The single-void case demonstrates that at half-atmospheric pressure, the intensity of discharges per voltage cycle increases by more than 40% compared to atmospheric pressure. The double-void case further shows that a void that is harmless at sea level can turn into an additional source of aging and couple with the other voids to escalate PD intensity by a factor of two or more. View Full-Text
Keywords: finite element analysis (FEA); high voltage systems; insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT); insulation systems; low-pressure conditions; more-electric aircraft; partial discharge finite element analysis (FEA); high voltage systems; insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT); insulation systems; low-pressure conditions; more-electric aircraft; partial discharge
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MDPI and ACS Style

Borghei, M.; Ghassemi, M. Characterization of Partial Discharge Activities in WBG Power Converters under Low-Pressure Condition. Energies 2021, 14, 5394. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175394

AMA Style

Borghei M, Ghassemi M. Characterization of Partial Discharge Activities in WBG Power Converters under Low-Pressure Condition. Energies. 2021; 14(17):5394. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175394

Chicago/Turabian Style

Borghei, Moein, and Mona Ghassemi. 2021. "Characterization of Partial Discharge Activities in WBG Power Converters under Low-Pressure Condition" Energies 14, no. 17: 5394. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175394

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