Today, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are looking for cooling solutions that reduce costs and enhance efficiency. Long® double-sided insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) cooling systems produced by Dana enable electrified vehicles to achieve consistent operation and long-lasting performance.
As OEMs design electrified vehicles that compete with traditional combustion engines, the need for innovative cooling solutions is growing. The emerging generation of electrified vehicles requires both improved battery thermal management, as well as power electronics cooling for IGBT devices used in the DC/AC inverter power control units. Increasingly extreme operating conditions result in high levels of electrical current and unwanted excess heat in IGBT inverter devices. Dana is finding new ways to meet these thermal challenges, to keep vehicles moving forward safely and efficiently.
Traditionally, these types of cooling systems have been made with copper, which offers good conductivity. Although copper is still used when necessary, it has high material cost and weight drawbacks. Now, OEMs are looking for lightweight, cost-effective alternatives, driving Dana’s move toward aluminum.
Dana’s know-how in this area has been honored at the highest levels of the automotive industry. The Automotive News Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contribution to Excellence (PACE) Awards named Dana’s double-sided chip cooling technology a finalist at their 2016 competition. Among global automotive suppliers, the PACE Awards are recognized as the industry benchmark.
Leveraging Long’s expertise in thermal management, Dana is the first manufacturer to introduce double-sided IGBT cooling with an all-aluminum fluxless brazed construction. Since aluminum is about 70 percent lighter than copper, this technology helps OEMs reach their weight reduction targets.
Dana’s reliable sealing technology and fluxless brazing construction also provide significant benefits. With traditional flux brazing, contaminants and debris are common. Dana’s proprietary fluxless, continuous aluminum brazing process enables precision cooling products to be made with cleaner parts. This minimizes coolant contamination to maintain low conductivity in the power electronics cooling circuit.
Another key advantage of Dana’s IGBT cooling technology is its superior flatness. Without this, the IGBT chip can overheat due to increased thermal resistance. By maintaining superior flatness and, in turn, full surface contact, Dana improves the heat transfer rate, providing OEMs with a reliable power electronics solution.
“Electrified propulsion vehicles demand more advanced cooling solutions, so that’s what Dana delivers,” said Nick Kalman, technical business development manager, Dana Power Technologies Group. “Dana enables cooling solutions that help the electrified vehicle industry grow. With production-ready solutions like double-sided IGBT cooling, our engineers are finding unique methods to improve these vehicles – reducing components and boosting efficiency.”
Dana continues to break new ground with IGBT cooling technology. In an effort to reduce packaging size and enhance lightweighting, Dana engineers are developing next-generation IGBT cooling technology with fewer layers within the IGBT cooling stack, enabling even higher power without compromising safety and reliability.
The compact design of Dana’s IGBT cooling system technology offers vehicle OEMs a lightweight, package-friendly design that can be customized to meet specific needs.
Dana’s cooling expertise has been recognized by the China Decision Makers Consultancy several times for technologies that serve electrified vehicles globally. In 2016, Dana was named “Outstanding Power Electronics Solution Provider of the Year,” while the company earned “Best Battery Solution Provider of the Year” honors in both 2015 and 2016.
Providing corrosion resistance and recyclability, Dana’s aluminum IGBT cooling system is advancing thermal-management technology to meet exact OEM needs. Dana is an established supplier with the ability to take battery cooling solutions to market quickly – which is helping to expand the electrified vehicle category.
Today, leading inverter and drive control manufacturers rely upon Dana’s IGBT technology. With full-scale production and manufacturing processes in place, this innovation can be custom designed in a compact, lightweight package. As the industry shifts toward fully integrated solutions, Dana’s component downsizing and lightweighting efforts help OEMs deliver competitive vehicles.
Unique innovations like aluminum double-sided IGBT cooling will position Dana at the forefront of the electrified vehicle industry segment for years to come.