Forced Air Cooling of Automotive Power Electronics


Forced Air Cooling of  Automotive Power Electronics

In an increasing number of application areas and industry sectors, such as the automotive, aerospace, military, or oil and gas industry, a trend towards higher ambient temperature rating from 120 °C upward for electrical machines andpower electronic converters can be observed. Forced air-cooling of powerelectronic converters offers reduced complexity of the cooling circuit compared to water-cooling. For air-cooled, high-ambient temperature rated converters, fans are required to withstand these temperatures and still feature performance comparable to standard conditions in order to still enable a high converter power density and efficiency.

Commercially available fans for powerelectronics cooling are typically rated up to 75°C, rarely fans are specified up to 105°C. In this paper, the electrical and mechanical design of a 40 mm × 40 mm × 28 mm fan is presented in detail that offers an operational temperature range from -40 °C to 250°C at the rated speed of 19 000 min-1 and comparable fluid dynamic performance in terms of static pressure and volume flow at 120 °C as commercial high performance fans at 20°C. The three-phase brushless direct current machine driving the fan is integrated into its hub and has got an input power of 15 W. The fan can be driven using a three-phase inverter supplied from 12 V dc voltage with an inverter switching frequency of less than 1.3 kHz.

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