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Principle and Application of IGBT module heat sink

Views: 23     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-02-25      Origin: Site

Motor controller Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor, the IGBT) heat dissipation performance speedly become motor IGBT now taking root in the industrial power electronics market, for example in (welding) heat sink, in traction inverter, in motor drive, etc.

igbt heat sink

Winsharethermolly provides IGBT heat sink assembly products which allow IGBT to work at high temperature enclosures while keeping the working junction temperature under a safe range by combining low thermal resistance with Vce(on) silicon.

IGBT in most cases work to a higher power device, high power means higher heat dissipation, as IGBT is toward large.. capacity,

high frequency,

easy to drive,

low loss,


points out the direction of development,

compared with other power electronic devices, IGBT heat sink has high

simple drive,


easy to protect,

there is no buffer circuit and switching

frequency is high,

igbt heat sink with heat pipe

Therefore, the IGBT heat sink in the electronics market has become very essential and necessary. In order to achieve this high performance, many processes are used in integrated circuits, such as epitaxy, ion implantation, and fine lithography, etc.

In recent years, the performance and capabilities of power IGBT module heat sink has been improved rapidly, the rated current has reached and accessed hundreds of amperes, and the withstand voltage of more than 1500V, and interestingly is still improving.

Since IGBT devices have following positive characteristics of PIN diode, and the characteristics of p-channel power IGBT module heat sink is not much different than that of n-channel IGBT, that is very conducive to adopt complementary and superb structure in the application, as a result, expanding its application in the field of ac and digital control technology.

The biggest advantage of IGBT is its capabilities that it can withstand current shock in either on mode or short circuit state. Its parallel connection is not considered a problem and its series connection is considered easy due to its short shutdown delay.

IGBT heat transfer modes include air cooling,

water cooling,

copper heat sink or aluminum heat sink.

Heat Pipe Heat Sink for IGBT Cooling

Its heat dissipation is sustain on the basic principle of heat transfer, a heat flow path consists with the lowest thermal resistance that is designed for the device, so that the heat emitted through the device should be emitted as soon as possible, thus to ensure that the internal junction temperature of all the devices is always maintain and kept within the allowable junction temperature.

At present, the existing IGBT heat pipe heat sink in the market mainly includes heat dissipation fin, heat pipe and substrate, on which the substrate is provided with a number of parallel grooves, and then the groove is welded with solder to the evaporating section of the heat pipe.

In the existing IGBT heat pipe heat sink technology, the evaporating section related to the heat pipe is always buried in the groove of the substrate, therefore it does not directly fit the IGBT surface.

In the working process phase, the heat from the IGBT surface is firstly exported and brought through the substrate, and then finally transferred to the heat pipe and heat sink.

Finally, the heat from the heat sink is shifted and transferred to the air by convection. Because the substrate has thermal resistance, and that is the reason thermal conductivity coefficient of heat pipe is too high than that of the base, the thermal conductivity efficiency of heat pipe as compared to heat sink is limited, and that's why the heat dissipation performance is reduced.

IGBT heat sink may transfer the heat evenly and smoothly from the substrate to the fin, which can effectively solve the heat dissipation problem of high heat flux, not only with high efficiency, but also with compact structure and no moving parts required, which can truly realize maintenance-free.

The importance of the correct mounting procedure for IGBT modules cannot be underestimated. All IGBT modules should be correctly fitted to a suitable heat sink to ensure that heat can be taken away from the module and therefore ensure the Tj(max) (Maximum junction temperature) of the IGBT is not exceeded.

Using incorrect mounting procedures can cause plenty of problems for IGBTs and is often the cause for field failures.

Highlighted below are some of the necessary steps in ensuring that the IGBT module is mounted correctly.

Heatsink finish

The flatness of the heat sink between the mounting holes should be less than 50μm per 100mm.

The surface roughness should be less than 10μm.

If the surface of the heat sink is not suitably flat, the module may have an unexpected increase of the contact thermal resistance (Rth(c-f) ) between the module and the heat sink.

Also, if the heat sink flatness doesn’t meet the above requirements, a high mechanical stress may be applied to the DCB on the module and it may cause insulation failure.

Thermal Paste

Thermal grease between heat sink and module baseplate is absolutely essential and necessary to reduce the contact thermal resistance.

Screen-printing plus rollers are basically methods of thermal grease pasting, however, using a stencil mask can be recommended when the target grease thickness is less than 100μm.

If using a roller the thermal paste should be applied to anti-grease and a grease free, dirt free flat surface and rolled evenly on the roller prior to applying to the module.

Once the module is mounted to the heatsink you should not see the excessive thermal paste seeping and absorbing from the sides of the module, and this is a sign that two thermal pastes can be applied.

Heat Sink Application in IGBT Modules

Traditionally the IGBT modules were firstly cooled by forced air-cooled heat sinks. Air-cooled heat sinks are still known as good thermal management solutions for low-power and less temperature-restricting IGBT modules. However, the high-power IGBT modules are specially cooled by liquid-cooled heat sinks, also known by the name of cold plates.

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If you still find any confusion, just comment in the comments section and we will turn back to solve your queries. Happy reading!

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