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How to : Optimize an IGBT Cold Plate

posted Nov 27, 2017, 11:24 PM by Songyi Han
Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) modules, are used in a wide range of industries. In electronics, IGBTs are used for Variable-Frequency Drives (VFD), for electric vehicle induction furnaces, in wind power applications and also in refrigerators, to give just a few examples.

An increase of the cooling fluid velocity increases the heat transfer coefficient. This leads to a higher heat flow rate, which leads to lower IGBT chip temperatures. However, at the same time, higher velocities also cause an increased pressure drop. The heat exchanging surface area, in this case, the cold plate surface, can be modified by pins or fins in several variants and arrangements (Figure 1). A shifted arrangement for example, usually leads to a higher heat flow rate compared to an aligned arrangement, but it leads to an increasing pressure drop, which increases the energy consumption for pumps.

The factors Size, Weight, Power, and Cost (SWaP-C) play an important role for the product competitiveness. Figures 2a and 2b show an overview of the example model.


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