The Modeling of Partial Discharge under Fast, Repetitive Voltage Pulses Using Finite-Element Analysis
Razavi Borghei, Seyyed Moein
MetadataShow full item record
By 2030, it is expected that 80% of all electric power will flow through power electronics systems. Wide bandgap power modules that can tolerate higher voltages and currents than silicon-based modules are the most promising solution to reducing the size and weight of power electronics systems. These wide-bandgap power modules constitute powerful building blocks for power electronics systems, and wide bandgap-based converter/power electronics building blocks are envisaged to be widely used in power grids in low- and medium-voltage applications and possibly in high-voltage applications for high-voltage direct current and flexible alternating current transmission systems. One of the merits of wide bandgap devices is that their slew rates and switching frequencies are much higher than silicon-based devices. However, from the insulation side, frequency and slew rate are two of the most critical factors of a voltage pulse, influencing the level of degradation of the insulation systems that are exposed to such voltage pulses. The shorter the rise time, the shorter the lifetime. Furthermore, lifetime dramatically decreases with increasing frequency. Thus, although wide bandgap devices are revolutionizing power electronics, electrical insulating systems are not prepared for such a revolution; without addressing insulation issues, the electronic power revolution will fail due to dramatically increased failure rates of electrification components. In this regard, internal partial discharges (PDs) have the most effect on insulation degradation. Internal PDs which occur in air-filled cavities or voids are localized electrical discharges that only partially bridge the insulation between conductors. Voids in solid or gel dielectrics are challenging to eliminate entirely and may result simply during manufacturing process. The objective of this study is to develop a Finite-Element Analysis (FEA) PD model under fast, repetitive voltage pulses, which has been done for the first time. The model is coded and implemented in COMSOL Multiphysics linked with MATLAB, and its simulation results are validated with experimental tests. Using the model, the influence of different parameters including void shape, void size, and void air pressure on PD parameters are studied.
General Audience Abstract
To decarbonize and reduce energy consumption for commercial aviation, the development of lightweight and ultra-efficient all-electric powertrain including electric motors, drives, and associated thermal management systems has been targeted. Using wide bandgap (WBG) power modules that can tolerate high voltages and currents can reduce the size and weight of the drive. However, the operation of WBG-based power converter can endanger the reliability of the electrified systems, most importantly, the insulation system. In this study, it is attempted to model the impact of such threats to the insulation system using numerical models.
- Masters Theses