Reviewing Thermal Monitoring Techniques for Smart Power Modules


Sven Kalker, Lukas A. Ruppert, Christoph H. Van der Broeck, Johannes Kuprat, Markus Andresen, Timothy A. Polom, Marco Liserre, Rik W. De Doncker, IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics, 02 March 2021.



The increasing demand for higher power device utilization and reliability in power electronic systems is driving the integration of condition monitoring and active control in power electronic systems. With thermal heat dissipation being the limiting factor of module lifetime and performance, thermal real-time monitoring is key in this transition. However, this requires the availability of highly accurate and high-bandwidth temperature information with minimal phase lag. This paper reviews key methods for temperature extraction in power modules: temperature sensing, thermal estimators and thermal observers. While previous research has examined individual techniques of these methods in great detail, this paper presents a methodological overview that provides insight to how different technologies may contribute to next generation thermal monitoring solutions. In this context, the paper discusses how different technologies can be effectively combined to improve their overall performance. It finally discusses key challenges that must be addressed such that minimally invasive temperature sensing and thermal monitoring become an industrial practice in the future of power electronics.