Drives and Controls Magazine

Intelligent power modules cut inverter losses by 20%

31 March, 2010

Mitsubishi Electric has developed a new generation of high-output intelligent power modules with losses claimed to be 20% lower than its previous-generation IPMs. The new V1 Series modules are aimed at motor control applications in inverters rated at 37kW or higher, and in servo systems rated at 15kW or higher.

Intelligent power modules combine IGBT-based power chips and their drivers, as well protection circuits in a single device. They are used in the output stages of variable frequency inverters to switch currents at high speeds.

In 1998, Mitsubishi launched its V Series IPMs with two IGBT chips embedded into one module. The new modules use carrier-stored trench gate bipolar transistor (CSTBT) chips, which are said to cut inverter power losses by about 20% compared to the first-generation chips.

The five modules in the new series all measure 120 × 70mm. This is the same package size as the smaller models in first series. For ratings of 600V, 600A and 1.2kV, 300A, the new modules are smaller than the previous size of 120 x 90mm, which will help to reduce the size of motor control systems. The new range also includes a new high-output (1.2kV, 450A) model.

In the first-generation IPMs, only the case temperature was monitored. The new V1 Series modules incorporate enhanced heat protection with temperature monitoring functions in each IGBT.