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Effects of Low Pressure Condition on Partial Discharges in WBG Power Electronics Modules

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Abstract: The aviation industry aims to reduce CO2 emission by reducing energyconsumption and benefitting from more electrical systems than those based onfossil fuels. The more electric aircraft (MEA) can take advantage of the drivesbased on wide bandgap (WBG) based power modules that are lighter and can bearhigher voltages and currents. However, the fast-rise and repetitive voltagepulses generated by WBG-based systems can endanger the insulating property ofdielectric materials due to the partial discharges. PDs cause the localbreakdown of insulation materials in regions with high electric fieldmagnitude. In the case of power electronic modules, silicone gel, which is apredominant type of encapsulation material, is susceptible to these PDs. Inthis study, it is aimed to investigate the impact of rise time on various PDcharacteristics including PD true charge magnitude, inception and extinctionfields, duration, and so forth. Besides, those systems that are anticipated tooperate under harsh environmental conditions such as naval or aviationindustries, may expect additional threat. Therefore, this paper puts forth thecombination of low pressure conditions and fast rise, high frequency squarewave pulses. The results demonstrate that more intense and more intense onesare going to be imposed at lower pressures. COMSOL Multiphysics interfaced withMATLAB is used to simulate the PD detection process based on the experimentaldata found in the literature.

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