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Dr. John Schönberger Plexim GmbH Technoparkstrasse 1 8005 Zürich
In this exercise you will learn how to use the thermal modeling features of PLECS to create a combined electrical-thermal simulation of a buck converter. The speciﬁc learning outcomes for this exercise are listed as follows: • Learn which components are needed for a thermal simulation. • Setup a thermal simulation for a buck converter. • Input conduction and switching loss data into the diode model. • Establish the steady-state operating temperature of the heatsink. • Establish the junction temperature of the diode.
The circuit you will use for this exercise is shown in Fig 1. It is a buck converter with an IGBT switch that operates at 10 kHz. The electrical parameters are given in Table 1.
To perform a thermal simulation using PLECS, three components are needed: a heatsink, semiconductor component(s) with a thermal description and an ambient temperature. The thermal simulation takes place at the same time as the circuit simulation but the thermal components are represented in PLECS in a separate domain. The thermal quantities and their analogous electrical equivalent are given in Table 2. In the analogous electrical circuit, conduction losses of a component are modeled as an ideal current
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Fig. 1: Combined electrical-thermal simulation of buck converter.
4 Setup the thermal simulation Step 1: Add thermal components Open the PLECS model Thermal_Buck_Tut. 2: Electrical equivalent of thermal circuit J. res. Schönberger. 2. (K/W) Elec. Step 2: Add a thermal description for IGBT The conduction and switching losses for the IGBT has been predeﬁned in the ﬁle IGBT_thm1. thermal resistance and ambient temperature with ground to the circuit as shown in Fig. the thermal impedance between the component and air as a simple resistor or RC chain. either the thermal capacitance of the heatsink must be deﬁned or a thermal chain with capacitance must be used to prevent the switching energy pulses from creating an inﬁnite temperature across the thermal resistance.2 mH 500 V 0. Domain Temperature (K) Heat (J) Heat ﬂow (W) Therm. and the ambient temperature as a voltage source. This equivalant circuit is shown in Fig. Therefore.xml. The parameters for these components are: • Ambient temperature is 25◦ C. having a zero-width and an inﬁnite height. In PLECS.plecs and add a heatsink. (F) Elec. Plexim GmbH 2 . res. (Ω) source.29 K/W. add the directory that contains the IGBT thermal description to the search path. The PLECS heatsink absorbs the switching and conduction losses of all components contained within its boundary. • Thermal capacitance of heatsink is 0. cap. • Under PLECS > Preferences. Fig. Press the rescan button to activate the change.01 J/K.5 Table 2: Equivalent thermal and electrical quantities Therm. the switching energy pulses are modeled as a dirac-type pulses. These components can be found in the thermal component library. To add this thermal description to the IGBT you ﬁrst need to add the path of this ﬁle to the thermal description search path. cap. (J/K) Therm.Thermal simulation of a buck converter Table 1: Buck converter electrical parameters Component R1 C1 L1 Vdc Duty cycle Value 5Ω 100 µF 1. Domain Voltage (V) Charge (C) Current (A) Elec. 2. All semiconductors located on the heatsink will have the same case temperature. • Thermal resistance between the heatsink and ambient temperature is 0. Also set the initial temperature to the same value as the ambient temperature.
Use the Edit command to look at the switching and conduction loss deﬁnitions. Of equal importance is the peak temperature of semiconductor junction. 5 Extend the thermal simulation model You will now manually deﬁne the conduction and switching losses for the diode to complete your model. J. • Add a Probe and use this to monitor the heatsink temperature. use a Cauertype thermal impedance with one element to model the internal thermal impedance of the diode.0 sec.4] and Tinitial = 25◦ C. Your task Double click on the diode and create a new thermal description.plecs. Cth = [0. C = 1 mJ/K. • Double click the IGBT. 7 Average Loss Calculation In many cases. The PLECS C-script block is used to perform the per-cycle integral and summing operations on the conduction and switching losses. use the parameters given in Table 3 and 4. Thermal_Buck_Tut1.5 K/W. The parameters for the thermal chain are Rth = [0. What is the ﬁnal junction temperature at the end of the simulation? (149◦ C) >> Your model at this point should be the same as the model. Select the option to monitor the junction temperature of the diode.95 2. Before you run the simulation. What is the ﬁnal temperature of the heatsink? (76◦ C) >> Your model at this point should be the same as the model. Note that with zero thermal capacitance. a factor of interest is the average power dissipation of each semiconductor. • Rerun the simulation for 1.plecs. Thermal_Buck_Tut3.118 0. Note that turn on losses are not deﬁned since these are negligible. Rerun the simulation. This cycle average loss calculation procedure is summarized in Fig.2 sec. 6 Junction temperature analysis Up till this point the thermal simulation has only taken into account the heatsink temperature. To deﬁne the conduction and turn-off losses. Under thermal description. Thermal_Buck_Tut2. • Run the simulation for 0. What is the ﬁnal heatsink temperature at the end of the simulation time? (97◦ C) >> Your model at this point should be the same as the model. make the following changes to the model: • Set the thermal capacitance of the heatsink to zero. select IGBT_thm1 from the library to describe the thermal losses.Thermal simulation of a buck converter • set the thermal description search path to the location of the thermal description ﬁle. Schönberger. the heatsink initial temperature becomes meaningless. Your task Edit the thermal description of the diode. Save the model as Diode_thm1. Plexim GmbH 3 . 3. • Replace the thermal resistance with a thermal chain. The parameters are R = 0. The average losses for a component can be calculated by summing the losses that occur during a switching cycle and generating an average power pulse during the next switching cycle.plecs. The junction temperature of a device can be found easily if its thermal resistance and capacitance are deﬁned.172]. Under the thermal impedance tab. \Thermal_Lib. Open the PLECS probe on the top sheet and drag in the power diode.
94 4A 1.2 0 10A 0.5A 1.26 0.6 0. J.1A 0.78 0.Thermal simulation of a buck converter Table 3: Diode turn off losses (values in mJ) 25◦ C -600V -500V 0V 125◦ C -600V -500V 0V 0A 0 0 0 0A 0 0 0 5A 0. Plexim GmbH 4 . Schönberger.44 0 10A 0. 3: Calculation of total cycle-average losses.11 20A 2. values in V 25◦ C 120◦ C 0A 0 0 0.21 0 15A 0.55 0 15A 0.11 Fig.53 0.53 0.4 0.34 0 8A 0.38 0.67 2.18 0.27 0.14 0 5A 0.8A 1.66 0.21 0.17 0 8A 0.75 2.62 0 Table 4: Diode conduction proﬁle.14 0.73 1.
Thermal Modeling of Power Electronic Systems. 2915-2922. Lucian N. The fundamental component required for thermal analysis is the heatsink. Sum the Ptotal outputs to measure the overall power loss in the buck converter.plecs.fraunhofer. Compare the output of the heat ﬂow meter with the summed output of the loss calculator blocks. Paul Nance.iisb. Ulrik Jaeger.plecs.de/en/arb_geb/powersys_pub. 2. 5. Simulation with Ideal Switch Models Combined with Measured Loss Data Provides a Good Estimate of Power Loss. 8-12 October 2000  Martin März. Vol. Run the simulation for 5 sec. Open the ﬁle AvgLossCalculation. which contains a cycle-average component for calculating the average conduction and switching losses of a semiconductor. Place a heat ﬂow meter between the thermal chain and the ambient temperature to measure the total average losses of both semiconductors. References  Stig Munk-Nielsen. Schönberger. Do the results agree? >> Your model at this point should be the same as the model. Application Note. IEEE Industry Applications Conference 2000. 3. Plexim GmbH 5 . Thermal_Buck_Tut4. pp. you learned how to form a combined electrical-thermal simulation using PLECS. You also learned how to create a thermal description for a switch by deﬁning the switching energy loss as a lookup table and the conduction loss as a current-voltage proﬁle. April 2000 http://www. Tutelea. Set the sample frequency to 10e3 to ensure the sync signal is the same as the switching frequency. Use two of these components in your model in order to measure the average power dissipated in the diode and IGBT.htm J.Thermal simulation of a buck converter Your task 1. 8 Conclusion In this exercise.
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