AMCO: “Additive manufacturing for novel heat dissipation techniques in GaN-based power converters for electromobility”
Will you participate?
SIM received a new project idea “Additive manufacturing for novel heat dissipation techniques in GaN-based power converters for electromobility”.
Nowadays, power conversion systems are required to be smaller, more efficient, high-temperature resilient, compliant with strict size limitations to fit in narrow spaces … Conventional cooling designs and off-the-shelf component selection for power converters become quite limited in meeting the abovementioned requirements. In this context, the use of design automation tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) strategies has the potential to propose non-conventional power converter design with wide operation and more importantly, different ways to dissipate power losses. Moreover, the algorithm can generate results with quite a complex shape and dimensions raising the challenge of needing to be achievable by conventional manufacturing. This opens the possibilities for additive manufacturing (3D printing) of cooling components. Nevertheless, there are many open questions and limitations when 3D printing is considered for power conversion systems in terms of complexity of materials, different properties (thermal conductivity, mechanical hardness …) based on the printing settings, production cost and post-processing.
The goal of this project is to explore the feasibility of the existing additive manufacturing technology in Flanders for cooling components (initially targeted at forced air and natural cooling systems), its possible integration with design automation tools of power conversion systems, and the further exploration of novel optimisation of 3D printing machines using AI strategies. The project objectives are the following:
- Identify the best suitable 3D printable material for heat dissipation in power converters for electromobility, not focussing on standard copper or aluminium but on lightweight, inexpensive and widely available materials, including polymers and technical ceramics.
- Establish the 3D printing (post)process conditions and limitations for the chosen materials.
- Deliver a clear benchmarking and trade-off analysis of 3D printed versus conventional cooling systems.
- Enable 3D co-design of power electronics converters for electromobility using 3D printed cooling systems.
Interested in this project idea? You can find more information in this 2-pager.