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IGBT and Diode Loss Estimation Under Hysteresis Switching
Ali M. Bazzi, Member, IEEE, Philip T. Krein, Fellow, IEEE, Jonathan W. Kimball, Senior Member, IEEE, and Kevin Kepley, Member, IEEE

AbstractThis paper presents a power loss estimation method for insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and diodes that operate under hysteresis switching. The method relies on datasheet information and three measurements in a phase leg: phase current, one IGBT switching gate signal, and the dc bus voltage across the phase leg. No parasitic models, thermal analysis, or slow simulations are required, and measurements can be provided from simulations or experiments. The method is validated for periodic pulsewidth modulation, then for aperiodic hysteresis switching. Results show that the proposed method is accurate while maintaining simplicity. It is promising for implementation in combined thermoelectric simulations and design optimization. Index TermsAperiodic switching, electrothermal design, hysteresis switching, IGBT loss estimation, semiconductor losses.


HIS paper presents a simple method for loss estimation in power electronics under hysteresis switching using datasheet information and basic measurements. The method proposed here detects whether IGBTs and diodes are switching or conducting using measurements of the load current and switching command of an IGBT-diode module in an inverter phase leg. Whether an IGBT turns ON, turns OFF, or conducts, and whether the diode conducts or turns OFF, this information is then tied to energy, voltage, and other curves provided in datasheets of IGBT-diode modules. Authors in [1] provided the description and basic validation of the proposed method by comparing its results to commercial software, but lacked the experimental verication using calorimetry. In this paper, this validation and more details are provided. Increasing switching frequencies, current densities, and power requirements, in addition to the reduction of semicon-

Manuscript received January 22, 2011; revised May 24, 2011; accepted July 21, 2011. Date of current version February 7, 2012. This work is supported in part by the Ofce of Naval Research under Grant N00014-08-1-0397, and the Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Recommended for publication by Associate Editor J. Jatskevich. A. M. Bazzi was with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801 USA. P. T. Krein is with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801 USA. J. W. Kimball is with Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO 65401 USA. K. Kepley was with Bitrode Corporation, Fenton, MO. Color versions of one or more of the gures in this paper are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Digital Object Identier 10.1109/TPEL.2011.2164267

ductor package sizes, have posed thermal challenges to designers and operators [2]. Appropriate cooling strategies are required to operate power electronics within their safe thermal limits [3], and better thermoelectric designs can be achieved based on power loss estimates. Hysteresis and other aperiodic switching schemes are common in current control applications, such as vector control in motor drives [4]. Even though the switching pattern in a power converter affects power losses, most available loss estimation methods assume a xed switching frequency (fsw ). These methods are generally developed based on pulsewidth modulation (PWM) and cannot be applied to aperiodic switching patterns such as hysteresis. Among xed-frequency loss estimation methods are those presented in [5][14]. Several assumptions are used in these methods and include ideal sinusoidal collector current (Ice ) or load current (IL ) [5], [6], linear switching energies with respect to Ice [7], soft switching [8], power loss analytical formulations [12], or knowledge of the switching characteristics [15]. Loss estimation from thermal measurements is also useful and can be applied independent of the switching scheme even though most available methods address periodic switching. Examples are shown in [2], [3], [9], [13], [16], [17]. Such methods can also be used for active thermal control [3]. While these methods give accurate estimates, given knowledge of thermal resistances, installing thermocouples is expensive and generally inconvenient. Model-based methods can be accurate but require detailed knowledge of diode or IGBT small signal models and extensive circuit-level simulations, e.g., [18]. Some reduce model dependency by tting datasheet switching-loss functions [14]. These methods become device-specic. Even though such compensation leads to accurate loss estimation, analysis and methodologies presented in [19], [20] apply to specic devices, and a similar procedure should be applied to different IGBT-diode pairs when different gate-drive circuits, dc bus voltage (Vdc ), and junction temperatures are of interest. Promising methods presented in [21], [22] have only been tested with PWM switching but have the potential for extension to aperiodic switching. Attempts to estimate losses under aperiodic switching are shown in [23][25]. In [23], curve tting is used to improve computational efciency, but a small simulation step size causes long simulation times. The authors of [23] indicate that their method requires signicant signal conditioning. The methods presented in [24], [25] were only validated by simulations for xed fsw even though they have potential for aperiodic switching.

0885-8993/$26.00 2011 IEEE



Fig. 3. Fig. 1. Hysteresis control with band h.

High-level block diagram of the proposed method.

Fig. 2.

Schematic of the test circuit.


While it is possible that some industrial power electronics manufacturers have proprietary methods for aperiodic switching loss estimation, these are not published. The method proposed here addresses known limitations and is able to estimate losses under both periodic and aperiodic switching. It depends on datasheet information and three simple measurements: IL , an IGBT switching function (q ), and Vdc . Loss estimation under hysteresis switching, shown in Fig. 1 for a hysteresis band h, is of interest here, but the proposed method applies to any switching scheme. II. PROPOSED LOSS ESTIMATION METHOD The proposed loss estimation method detects IGBT and diode states based on IL and q for a sample k and the previous sample k-1. The number of recorded samples depends on the sampling rate. Since it is desired to use only datasheet information with minimal measurements, the proposed method is independent of circuit models, detailed knowledge of physical characteristics, thermal measurements, and switching scheme. A half-bridge inverter, shown in Fig. 2, is used to describe and experimentally validate the method. A dual IGBT-diode module can be used in most dcdc, dcac, and acdc converters. The proposed method detects switching transients and conduction periods in the upper IGBT (Q) and diode (D) based on the conditions shown in Table I. IL is dened as shown in Fig. 2, and q is a Boolean signal equal to zero when Q is OFF.

Note that Table I does not include open circuits, short circuits, or fault conditions. To apply Table I to experimental or simulation waveforms, these should be sampled at a high rate to capture detailed switching and conduction. In the demonstration presented here, data points are processed in MATLAB and Table I is built using a simple if-then-else structure. Another implementation was successfully tested with open-source Octave software. Data points require minimal conditioning before processing, e.g., rearranging data in independent arrays. Fig. 3 shows basic steps of the proposed method. The method determines switching and conduction energies at a sample k based on the value of IL (k ). These energies or related information are usually given in datasheets as functions of Ice , which is reected in IL . To use datasheet information, curve tting is an important step as shown in Fig. 3. Essential ts include turn-ON energy (EQ , on ), turn-OFF energy (EQ , o ), and diode turn-off energy (Erec ) for the upper pair. If Erec is not given, the diode reverse recovery current (Irr ) and time (trr ) are given and curve-t instead. To evaluate conduction losses, the ON-state voltage drop across Q (Vce , sat ) and across D (Vf ) are also curve-t. The curve-tting procedure is as follows: 1) Four or more points from each datasheet curve are selected. 2) These points are entered into two vectorsone vector is the collector-emitter current or the diode current, and the other vector is the desired quantity, e.g., EQ , on . 3) The curves are t as second-order polynomials using the MATLAB function polyt. These polynomials have 2 , one for IL , and three constant coefcientsone for IL a constant term. Little improvement was achieved using other tting functions. 4) To consider the effect of Vdc , switching energies are linearly scaled by Vdc /Vtest where Vtest is the datasheet test dc voltage. The effects of gate voltage, gate resistance, and different junction temperatures are ignored intentionally to simplify the method and make it module independent. Curve tting can be improved by updating the coefcients based on different operating conditions as the shapes of energy, voltage, and other curves could be affected, but this is not considered here to avoid complexity. Later results show that the method performs well even with these assumptions. Readers interested in considering these effects are referred to [19], [20]. The procedures described in [19], [20] can be very simple to implement during



the characterization of an IGBT-diode module by the module manufacturer. If energy and voltage curves from tests performed at different junction temperatures, gate resistance, gate voltage, and Vce , are provided in datasheets, more accurate loss estimates can be found using the proposed method and other loss estimation tools. Energies are initialized to zero, then incremented as EQ , on (k ) = EQ , on (k 1) + 1 IL (k )2 + 2 |IL (k )| + 3 Erec (k ) = Erec (k 1) + 1 IL (k )2 + 2 |IL (k )| + 3 EQ , cond (k ) = EQ , cond (k 1) + Vce , sat (k )IL (k )|[t(k ) t(k 1)] ED , cond (k ) = ED , cond (k 1) + Vf (k )|I (k )|[t(k ) t(k 1)]. (5)
Fig. 5. Heat sink R s -a [26].


Fig. 4.

Zero-order thermal model.

EQ , o (k ) = EQ , o (k 1) + 1 IL (k )2 + 2 |IL (k )| + 3 (2) (3)


where , , , m, and n are curve-tting coefcients. Here Vce , sat (k ) = m1 IL (k )2 + m2 |IL (k )| + m3 , and Vf (k ) = n1 IL (k )2 + n2 |IL (k )| + n3 . As previously explained, , , , m, and n can be found by curve tting four or ve points of each curve using the polyt MATLAB function. An example code for curve tting EQ , on of the BSM100GB60DLC is as follows: Vtest = 300;% Datasheet Voltage: SPECIFIED BY USER Vdc = 88;% Real operating Voltage: SPECIFIED BY USER I _L = [0, 10, 20, 40, 80];% Current vector from Datasheet E on_theo = [0, 1/12, 3/12, 4/12, 8/12]0.001; % Energy data from Datasheet E on_real = Vdc /Vtest Eon_theo; % Real Energy data at operating condition p1 = polyt(I_L, E on_real, 2); % second order polynomial t for E on_real. The switching energy, labeled as EQ in the code, is later incremented as follows, where I is the current vector and i is the sample or iteration: EQ = EQ + p1(1) I(i) 2 + p1(2) abs(I(i)) + p1(3). The conditions in Table I determine which energy is incremented, and a owchart summarizing incrementing the energies is shown in [1]. When all data points are processed, the accumulated energies are added and divided by the total time of the selected window to estimate the total power loss (PT ). It is theoretically possible to implement this method for online loss estimation especially since IL and q are typically available from basic sensing circuitry. The main consideration for applying online loss estimation is deciding on a time window over which losses are estimated. For example, a certain time tw is selected during which IL , q , and Vdc are sampled and saved; the processor over which the controller is running can then estimate losses every tw . Time tw can be selected to include several fundamental frequency cycles in inverter applications, but can also be close to the measurement sampling interval if loss estimation at the switching transient is desired. When online loss estimation is implemented, the hysteresis band can be controlled to change the conduction time and number of switching transients. Hys-

teresis band control can be used to change losses and comply with any thermal limits of the IGBT-diode module. III. VALIDATION PROCEDURE Two scenarios are studied to validate the proposed method PWM and hysteresis switching in a half-bridge inverter shown in Fig. 2. These scenarios demonstrate the applicability of the method to periodic and aperiodic switching schemes. While this method was compared with commercial software in [1], calorimetry is used here for experimental validation. Calorimetry is performed by measuring the IGBT-diode module case temperature, Tc . The ambient temperature, Ta , and a zero-order thermal model, shown in Fig. 4, lead to the PT measurement. In Fig. 4, Tj,Q and Tj,D are the IGBT and diode junction temperatures; Rj -c ,Q and Rj -c ,D are the IGBT and diode junction-tocase thermal resistances; Rc -s and Rs -a are the case-to-sink and sink-to-ambient thermal resistances, respectively; Ts is the sink temperature, and PQ and PD are the IGBT and diode losses. In the experimental setup, RL = 1.58 and LL = 3.1 mH. A CM200DY-12NF Powerex half-bridge module was rst tested, then two other modules were tested2MB1100-120 from Fuji and BSM100GB60DLC from Inneon. Since Ta and Tc are used to measure PT , the only required thermal resistances are Rc -s and Rs -a . The power PT can be found as PT = (Tc Ta )/(Rc -s + Rs -a ). Note that the proposed method is independent of these parameters, but they are used for validation. The Rs -a characteristic curve for vertical placement and natural convection is shown in Fig. 5 [26], and Rc -s = 0.07 C/W as given in the module datasheet. Successful validation here aims to achieve an estimation error within 15% of the measured PT . Prior published loss estimation results report errors more than 15%, e.g., [8], [25], and power electronics designers usually keep a thermal safety margin for worst-case operation scenarios. Since the objective is to estimate power loss, which in general should be a small fraction of system




Fig. 6. Hysteresis switching waveforms: Load voltage (top, 100 V/div), IL (middle, 10 A/div), q (bottom, 5 V/div). TABLE III MEASURED AND ESTIMATED P T UNDER HYSTERESIS SWITCHING FOR THE CM200DY-12NF MODULE TABLE IV MEASURED AND ESTIMATED P T UNDER HYSTERESIS SWITCHING FOR THE 2MB1100-120 MODULE

power, error below 15% represents a useful improvement over prior work. IV. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS The setup was rst run under PWM switching with the CM200DY-12NF module. Bus voltage Vdc , the fundamental load frequency (f ), and fsw were varied to check the estimation accuracy for different operating conditions. The IL and q waveforms were recorded on an oscilloscope and processed in MATLAB, and the average Vdc was used to scale the energy functions. The oscilloscope sampling frequency was 250 kHz when f 30 Hz and 500 kHz when f > 30 Hz for 10 kHz PWM switching. These sampling frequencies have larger periods than IGBT and diode turn-ON and turn-OFF times, and introduce estimation errors, but switching transients were clearly detected. For 105 data points, the total runtime in MATLAB did not exceed one minute on a 3.2 GHz, Pentium4 computer with 1GB RAM. Table II shows measured losses and estimation results under PWM. It is clear from Table II that the tool performs well compared to measurements, with an average error of 7% (found as the average of the absolute values of errors). This average error and all individual sample runs satisfy the goal of estimation error less than 15%. The method was then validated under hysteresis switching with Vdc maintained near 90 V. The fundamental frequency was varied for different operating points, and the load was varied as shown in the last two rows of Table III. Fig. 6 shows an example of the captured IL and q . The results in Table III show an average error of 8.5%. Two other modules were then tested under hysteresis switching under different operating conditions. Results are shown in Tables IV and V. The average error for the 2MB1100-120 and BSM100GB60DLC modules was 10.24% and 9.45%, respec-


tively. The worst-case error achieves the 15% target for the three different modules. Since the proposed method uses only datasheet information to estimate losses under PWM and hysteresis switching, it is attractive for further investigation. Estimation errors can be attributed to nite sampling rates, approximate curve tting, sensitive measurements, and discrepancies between datasheet tests and the employed experimental setup. V. CONCLUSION A simple method for loss estimation in IGBT-diode modules has been presented and validated. The method was shown to estimate power losses under both PWM and hysteresis switching schemes. This method is attractive as it only requires three easily accessible measurementsload current, average Vdc , and switching pulse time, in addition to information from datasheets. Calorimetry was used to verify if the method could estimate losses with an average error less than 8% in both PWM and hysteresis switching. Due to its simplicity and short runtime, this method can be used in circuit simulation software, rapid



power electronics prototyping, and efciency-based thermoelectric power electronics designs. ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors thank Robert Campbell from Power Electronics Group at Delphi for his insightful feedback and commentary about industry loss estimation tools. REFERENCES
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