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Semikron’s range of accelerated burn-in tests for its Skiip intelligent power modules (IPMs) are intended to ensure high levels of reliability in inverter applications in wind power and other systems.

The tests are made possible by the high level of integration of the modules – power semiconductor, gate driver, current sensors, protective functions and matched cooling are all integrated within the Skiip.

During the tests, the Skiip modules are operated in a one- and four-quadrant mode for approximately two hours under worst-case real inverter conditions at elevated temperature and elevated voltage.

Early-life failures are identified and eliminated, with subsequent analysis of the root cause of the failure.

The modules are tested with cooling water at 80C and cycling at a constant chip temperature.

Junction temperature of the IGBT3 silicon reaches 140C, to ensure that the modules experience high stress levels.

Skiip IPMs are now installed in 44 Gigawatts of the world’s installed wind power capacity.

The total worldwide installed wind power capacity is 94 Gigawatts.

The technology uses mechanical pressure to press the direct-bonded copper (DBC) substrate to the heat sink without soldering.

This results in a homogenous pressure distribution with a thermal connection between the ceramic substrates carrying the semiconductor chips and the heat sink.

Thermal resistance (Rth(j-s)) is 40 per cent lower than standard modules, according to the company.

Skiip has no base plate and fewer solder layers, resulting in lower thermal-mechanical stress inside the module.

The thermal cycling capability is five times higher than a standard module with base plate and is reached even under the harsh climatic conditions experienced in the wind-energy industry.

High load- and temperature-cycling capabilities are ensured by the patented Skiip pressure contact technology.

The module is available in 1200V and 1700V for currents from 500A to 2400A.

SEMIKRON, a private and financially independent family enterprise, was founded in 1951 and employs 2,900 people worldwide. The headquarters is located in Nuremberg, Germany. The company develops and produces reliable and efficient power electronic components and solutions for wind power generators, solar power, electric and hybrid vehicles, power supplies, industrial applications, electric drives, welding machines, lifts, conveyor belts and the rail industry. As a significant innovator in the power electronics sector, many of SEMIKRON’s progressive developments have been accepted as industrial standards.

A global network of 35 companies, production sites and solution centres guarantees fast and competent on-site customer support and service. The products range from 1kW to 10MW: chips, discrete diodes/thyristors, power modules (IGBT/MOSFET/diode/thyristor) to customer-specific solutions and integrated power electronic systems.  

According to a survey carried out by BTM Consult Apes, the total wind power capacity installed until 2009 was 122GW. 57GW comprises semiconductors from SEMIKRON.

As the market leader in the field of diode/thyristor semiconductor modules, SEMIKRON enjoys a 37 per cent share of the worldwide market.*

*Source: IMS-Research — 'The worldwide market for power semiconductor discretes and modules' — 2008

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