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Partial discharge control in a power electronic module using high permittivity non-linear dielectrics

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6 Author(s)
Ningyan Wang ; Sch. of Electr. & Electron. Eng., Univ. of Manchester, Manchester, UK ; Cotton, I. ; Robertson, J. ; Follmann, S.
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High electric fields at the edge of the substrate metallization can give rise to partial discharge within power electronic modules and can lead to eventual failure. This paper examines the use of silicone gels filled with barium titanate to reduce the electric field enhancement at the edge of substrate metallization and therefore increase partial discharge inception voltages. The barium titanate filled gel produces a dielectric in which the relative permittivity is increased over a plain gel and that also exhibits a dependence on electric field. The theoretical electric field reduction that can be achieved in a power electronic module through the use of filled gels is demonstrated and compared against experimental measurements including the trial of the technique in some commercial modules. As promising results are achieved, consideration is also given to the effect of the barium titanate filler on the viscosity of the gel and the thermal conductivity, two key manufacturing issues.

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Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 4 )