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Thermo-Mechanical Analysis for John Deere Electronics Solutions

NREL supports John Deere Electronic Solutions (JDES) in thermal design optimization and thermo-mechanical modeling of critical inverter components for wide-bandgap power electronics.

A photo of a red all-electric shuttle bus driving on a road by a large building.

Funded through PowerAmerica and led by JDES, NREL helps to design, develop, fabricate, and validate wide-bandgap power electronics systems for all-electric vehicles.

In previous efforts, NREL and JDES partnered in the successful development, manufacturing, and in-vehicle demonstration of a power-dense, high-temperature, and energy-efficient silicon carbide inverter. Learn more about this previous work.

Now, NREL and JDES are leveraging what they've learned to execute key technology and manufacturing innovations to develop three enabling wide-bandgap technologies for all-electric vehicles. These technologies include:

  • Silicon carbide inverter
  • Nonisolated bidirectional DC-to-DC converter
  • Isolated bidirectional DC-to-DC converter.

NREL's role encompasses the thermal design optimization and thermo-mechanical modeling and analysis of critical components. The thermo-mechanical analysis includes:

  • Cooling design and thermal performance impacts of alternative manufacturing processes
  • Die, package, and interface material analysis for power module reliability
  • Manufacturing process impacts versus thermal cycling impacts on power module reliability
  • Power module stress and deflection for safety and coolant system sealing
  • Inverter enclosure stress and deflection based on operating and JDES safety requirements.

The research supported JDES's PowerAmerica project milestone for the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office.

Impact

Wide-bandgap power electronic components offer lighter, more compact, increasingly efficient, higher voltage, and potentially robust alternatives to traditional silicon components. By continuing this research, NREL is helping reduce investment risk, which can help lower costs and speed adoption.

Capabilities

Learn more about NREL's power electronics and electric machines research capabilities.

Contact

Kevin Bennion

Researcher V - Mechnical Engineering

Kevin.Bennion@nrel.gov
303-275-4447