Whitepaper | Design challenges behind EV traction inverters

 
Electric vehicles rely on traction inverters to convert the high-voltage DC energy stored in the vehicle’s batteries to drive the AC traction motors. The traction inverter plays a crucial role in driving the vehicle and needs to be extremely robust and reliable, given the high power switching and the likely high dv/dt transients involved.
 
In this white paper, we investigate the role of an EV’s traction inverter, the electrical specifications required for its operation, some of the design challenges engineers face when developing them, and the impact wide bandgap (WBG) devices are having on their design.
 

With EVs, in all variations, there will be plenty of opportunity for innovation based around powerful, multicore automotive-grade microcontrollers and integrated with high-voltage and high-current inverters, even with high-efficiency IGBTs.

It explores the following topics:

- Challenges of drivetrains in electric vehicles
- Design approaches for traction inverters
- Using wide bandgap devices to improve performance

Wide-bandgap (WBG) devices, such as SiC MOSFETs, will usher in a further shrink in volume, increase efficiency, and improve robustness. Entirely new topologies will emerge, such as current-source inverters (CSI), adding new benefits to systems.

 

 

Discover our high-voltage MOSFET packages dedicated to EV systems, with a main focus on the advanced high-performance ACEPACK power modules and how they can help manage thermal issues.

By turning to the engineering teams at ST, and the broad portfolio of innovative Si, SiC and packaging solutions, traction inverter developers can draw on a wealth of experience to support their designs.

 

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