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Electrothermal Simulation of an IGBT PWM Inverter



Alan Mantooth, Allen R. Hefner Jr.


A recently developed electrothermal network simulation methodoogy is used to analyze the behavior of a full-bridge, pulse-width modulated (PWM), voltage-source inverter, which uses insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT's) as the switching devices.  The electrothermal simulations are performed using the Saber circuit simulator and include control logic circuitry, IGBT gate drivers, the physics-based IGBT electrothermal model, and thermal network component models for the power-device silicon chips, packages, and heat sinks.  It is shown that the thermal response of the silicon chip determines the IGBT temperature rise during the device switching cycle.  The thermal response of the device TO247 package and silicon chip determines the device temperature rise during a single phase of the 60-Hz sinusoidal output.  Also, the thermal response to the heat sink determines the device temperature rise during the system startup and after load-impedance changes.  It is also shown that the full electrothermal analysis is required to accurately describe the power losses and circuit efficiency.
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics


electrothermal, IGBT, inverter, modeling, pulse-width modulation, simulation


Mantooth, A. and Hefner Jr., A. (1997), Electrothermal Simulation of an IGBT PWM Inverter, IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, [online], (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created April 30, 1997, Updated October 12, 2021