Johnson, C. Mark; Castellazzi, Alberto; Skuriat, Robert; Evans, Paul; Li, Jianfeng; Agyakwa, Pearl (University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)
Historically, each discipline in power electronics has been pursued independently, and as a result, individual product classes, such as power modules, passive components, thermal management systems, gate drives and converters, have been developed without full consideration of the inter-component interactions. This serial approach to design and manufacture has reached its limit and further advances will only be made through greater levels of structural and functional integration. In this paper we examine some of the underpinning technologies that influence the design of power electronic components and the constraints that these impose on the level of integration that is practicable. Thermal and electromagnetic design issues are examined in detail along with some alternative approaches and technologies for module assembly. A flexible and scalable modular approach is proposed in which power substrates, based on commutation cells with the addition of appropriate passive components and sensors, are combined in parallel and series with appropriate thermal management and gate-drive technologies to deliver a broad range of power module solutions.