Automated Device Analysis and Converter Design
At present there are tens of thousands of MOSFET devices available on the market. Choosing the optimal device for a converter can be an impossible task without the right data and tools. This project will allow data for various MOSFET devices to be collected quickly and stored in a matter that will allow power electronic designers to effectively determine the best device for a given application. By choosing the optimal device, designers will be able to design converters that are smaller, lighter, cheaper, and more efficient. This ability to quickly design better converters can have an impact on all fields that rely on power electronics. More efficient electric vehicles, solar power, and data centers are all possibilities.
Turn on Energy curve for a GaN device. An output from the Automated Double Pulse Test and an important piece of data for device selection.
For this project there are three main subsections that work together to accomplish the end goal. The first is a device database that contains various properties of many of the devices available on the market. This database is what will allow engineers to effectively search through the available devices to find the best device for a given situation. Along with the database a selection algorithm will be employed to search through the available data and find devices that are appropriate for the desired converter. The database has already been partially implemented; however, the selection algorithm is still in the planning stages. The second part of this project is the Automated Double Pulse Test. While there is a large amount of data available through device datasheets, its ability to predict device performance under a wide range of operating conditions is somewhat limited. In order to determine the performance of a device in a variety of situations, the device must undergo physical testing, most importantly, the double pulse test. The double pulse test is a somewhat long procedure and requires a significant time commitment to complete, especially when a fine combination of operating voltages and currents is desired. The Automated Double Pulse Test allows this process to be completely automated, with all desired measurements and calculations preformed automatically. In the future it will also allow for the data to automatically be added to the database. The final part of this project is a generalized test board that ties in closely with the Automated Double Pulse Test. This generalized test board will allow many devices to be tested with only minor changes to the test board and produce comparable results.
How WBG Can Help
While this project is not directly limited by non-Wide Band Gap devices, they are still quite relevant to the project. Wide band gap devices are particularly interesting as they are at such an early phase in their commercialization. With this project we can track their performance over time and also look at how their price changes. It is already clear that WBG devices are superior in performance to traditional devices in many situations, but with this project we will be able to more easily track how their price / performance ratio changes over time and see when they can compete with traditional silicon devices in both performance and cost.
- Kyle Goodrick
- Wen Zhang
- Edward Jones