Webbased Simulation Tool to Simplify IGBT Selection and Thermal Design in MinutesMarch 19, 2015 by Kristofer Eberle
This article introduces the features and benefits of the IGBT WebSim, a new web-based simulation feature in International Rectifier's website.
For a given voltage, current rating and package type, there can be many possible IGBT candidates. Additionally, the designer has to ensure that the power stage operates reliably within the thermal constraints. To alleviate these two headaches of power electronics system designers, International Rectifier has added a new web-based simulation feature (IGBT WebSim) to its web site. This helps the engineer quickly select the appropriate IGBT components and obtain the power loss information for their specific application design. The new tool has been developed based on PLECS software, by Plexim, used for the development of power electronic systems. Plexim recently released a version of their offline simulator for running on a web server.
IGBT WebSim (Figure 1) consists of two independent tools:
- IGBT Selector: Users can select the application type and input general filter parameters (e.g. package type, dc bus voltage, etc.). The tool uses these data to calculate power losses and reduce the list of candidates to devices that would operate at a junction temperature at least 25°C (by default) below maximum junction temperature rating. The short list of potential candidates is shown sorted by power losses; for a more in-depth application-specific analysis, users can be directed to the IGBT Simulator web page once they select the IGBT parts and click the IGBT Simulator button.
- IGBT Simulator: Leveraging the fast and robust PLECS simulation engine and its intuitive schematic interface, the IGBT Simulator implements the specific application models listed on the IGBT Selector tool web page. For example, the first iteration of IGBT Simulator includes a three-phase motor drive inverter system with a collection of currently offered IGBT discrete devices. The user can choose various source and load parameters, modulation strategies, and device ratings. Live simulated waveforms can be observed as well as data tables showing calculations for losses in the inverter and junction temperatures of each device. Additionally, the visitor can compare the effect of parameter variations or the operation of different parts directly. Questions such as the efficiency of the power stage of a converter or heat sink or cooling system sizing will be answered at an early stage of the development process.
IGBT WebSim suits engineers of different levels of familiarity with International Rectifier IGBT products. If web page visitors already have made their IGBT selection, they can directly visit the IGBT Simulator web page. In this way one can virtually specify and test a component without downloading a software package or ordering prototypes.
Additionally, the thermal model files can be downloaded to be used in PLECS offline, so International Rectifier parts can be included directly in application-specific designs. PLECS Standalone can be obtained from Plexim’s web site and has a free demo mode allowing access to a collection of prebuilt designs. Free PLECS trial licenses can also be requested online for custom model development. Existing PLECS users can also now use International Rectifier’s collection of parts.
About the Author
Kristofer Eberle worked as the Applications Engineer at Plexim, Inc. since July 2010 where he is responsible for making technical presentations and demonstrating how our products meet client needs, providing pre-sales technical assistance and product education both at clients' offices and trade shows and for managing and interpreting customer requirements. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering earned at the Northeaster University and a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering earned at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jiangmin Chunyu worked as the Staff IGBT Technical Marketing and Applications Engineer at International Rectifier, an Infineon Technologies company where he is a key member of the IGBT technical marketing team, supporting new products definition, competitive analysis, bench-marking, design win activities and demand creation for the IGBT product line (discrete & modules). He holds a Master's Degree in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering earned at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. He also holds a Master's Degree in Digital Signal Processing and a Doctorate Degree in Robotics both earned at the University of Central Florida.
Andrea Gorgerino worked as the Director of IGBT Applications Engineering at International Rectifier, an Infineon Technologies company where he is skilled in the field of semiconductors and integrated circuits. He holds a Laurea in Electrical Engineering earned at the Polytechnic University of Turin.