Tester puts IGBTs for electric vehicles through their paces

May 24, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Electric driving poses particularly high demands to the reliability and resilience of the power semiconductors controlling the motors. To ensure that the IGBTs used in electric powertrains meet these high standards, Mentor Graphics has modified its Power Tester according to the needs of the automotive industry.

The MicReD Power Tester 600A allows testing power electronics devices, preferably IGBTs, during load change cycles, which in turn allows EV/HEV developers and reliability engineers to evaluate and validate these components. As soon as SiC transistors will be a relevant factor in HEV/EV power trains, Mentor will make the appropriate test procedures and software available as well, said Laszlo Tolnay, product line director in Mentor’s Mechanical Analysis Division.

 

The background: Issues with thermal reliability could lead to call-back actions for electromobiles – something manufacturers tend to avoid at almost any price. Therefore, they are highly interested in buying electronic components that are rated and qualified according to the high standards of this industry. The tester is designed for validation tests during the design cycle, not so much for in-line production tests, Tolnay said.

 

The MicReD Power Tester 600 A offers comprehensive diagnosis regarding thermal reliability, high simulation speed and scalability, the vendor promises. It enables a simple reliability test process with automated load changes for the lifecycle assessment of power electronics devices. The T3Ster feature generates non-destructive data of progressing errors. Throughout the test all diagnosis information is recorded. A simple, ruggedized touch-screen user interface facilitates conducting tests with minimal operator training.

 

The tester also can drive IBT modules over tens of thousands of load cycles and offer error data in real-time. This significantly reduces the test time and makes post-mortem or destructive error analysis redundant. The product is also scalable: Up to eight testers can be combined, enabling users to perform load tests of up to 128 IGBTs in parallel.

 

More information: www.mentor.com