A new platform tests electric and hybrid vehicle (EV/HEV) power electronics reliability during power cycling. Developed by Mentor Graphics, the MicReD Power Tester 600A lets EV/HEV development and reliability engineers test power electronics (such as insulated gate bipolar transistors – IGBTs, MOSFETs, transistors, and chargers) for mission-critical thermal reliability and lifecycle performance. The Mentor Graphics MicReD Power Tester 600A also handles power electronics thermal simulation and test.
Designers of today’s EV/HEVs are faced with significant mission-critical challenges: Foremost among these is ensuring the thermal reliability of power electronics modules; detecting potential degradation of IGBTs caused by a range of standard drive cycles; and identifying the underlying damage root causes. Mentor’s MicReD Power Tester 600A solution provides accurate and reliable test results that scale to real-world requirements:
Comprehensive Diagnostics for Thermal Reliability: The MicReD Power Tester 600A product provides a simple reliability testing process for lifecycle estimation. Device set-up is easy and power cycles are fully automated. The T3Ster “structure function” feature inside the Power Tester yields non-destructive “failure-in-progress” data for each IGBT. All diagnostic information is recorded during testing, from current, voltage and die temperature sensing, to “structure function” changes that point to reasons for failures in the package structure. Package development, reliability and batch checking of incoming parts can now be tested before production.
Simulation Accuracy: The MicReD Power Tester 600A product can power IGBT modules through tens of thousands of cycles. This provides “real-time” failure-in-progress data for diagnostics, significantly reducing test time and eliminating the need for post-mortem or destructive failure analysis. Associated 3D CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulation errors can be reduced from typically up to 20% to 0.5% for accurate thermal characterization of IGBTs and components due to Mentor’s calibration technology solely found in the MicReD T3Ster product.
Scalability – Tests Up to 128 IGBTs in Series: Up to eight MicReD 600A Power Testers can be chained together to allow users to power cycle up to 128 IGBTs simultaneously in a system test. The MicReD Power Tester 600A product delivers 48 V under load, and users can deal with components mounted externally on cooling systems for maximum flexibility. The MicReD Power Tester 600A also meets the needs of emerging de facto EV/HEV power electronics testing best practices such as those currently being developed for the German automotive industry.
The MicReD Power Tester 600A product can be coupled with Mentor’s CFD simulation technologies. Mentor’s FloTHERM and FloEFD 3D CFD software provide front-loading thermal simulation of power modules. MicReD’s T3Ster technology provides CFD input material properties for automated model calibration functionality to accurately simulate the real temperature response of an EV/HEV’s dynamic power input. This combination of technologies allows users to generate IGBT thermal lifetime failure estimations with the great accuracy.
Mentor Graphics is now accepting orders for the MicReD Power Tester 600A with shipping scheduled for summer of 2016.