Advanced Thermal Packaging for Power Converters

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-11-C-2180
Agency Tracking Number: F093-170-0759
Amount: $749,535.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: AF093-170
Solicitation Number: 2009.3
Small Business Information
133 Defense Highway, Suite 212, Annapolis, MD, -
DUNS: 153908801
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Hom
 Senior Thermal Engineer
 (410) 987-8988
Business Contact
 Sharon Fehrenbacher
Title: CEO
Phone: (410) 224-3710
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: The power converter units on military aircraft currently use relatively low performance aluminum cold plate technology and PAO or fuel coolant to cool the high heat producing components. The thermal resistance between the power electronic components and the coolant is relatively high in these package designs, which forces the coolant to be maintained at a low temperature in order to prevent component failure. This places a large burden on the thermal controls systems, which use a vapor cycle system to reduce the temperature of the coolant. In Phase I, Technology Assessment & Transfer (TA & T) analytically demonstrated the advantage of using ceramic cold plates for cooling the power switching modules and advanced cooling designs for the inductors to reduce allow a substantially higher (56 degrees C) coolant inlet temperature. In Phase II, TA & T will build upon the work performed in Phase I by further developing the component and system design and fabricating power switching modules and inductor components with the advanced thermal packaging designs and high temperature materials. These components will be tested in an existing power converter unit to experimentally demonstrate the performance advantages. BENEFIT: The proposed concepts will enable use of substantially higher coolant inlet temperature compared to current designs. The higher heat rejection temperature of the coolant increases the heat transfer efficiency and reduces the burden on refrigerated coolant systems on aircraft. This will enable reduced heat exchanger size and/or additional heat load from higher power or additional electronic components.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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