Modelling of device aging for energy conversion : toward predictive maintenance of power converters ?

Published : 1 January 2023

The conversion of electrical energy is currently a major issue within our societies, whether to reduce losses, to allow the integration of a maximum of renewable energy from wind or solar power or to have cleaner mobility (electric vehicles, whatever their size, individual or collective), in industry as well as in the residential sector. The design of optimized energy converters (inverters for electric motors, battery chargers, etc.) is increasingly based on so-called large-gap components, such as SiC or GaN, making it possible to reduce by a factor of 2 to 4 the conversion losses, the size of the systems as well as the cost compared to Silicon. The relative youth of these technologies (<10 years) does not make it possible to accurately predict the aging of components and the impact on early system failures.

The objective of the thesis is to be able in the long term to predict the aging of systems in order to optimize their maintenance based on knowledge of component aging. The lines of work will be multiple, on the one hand modeling in an adequate way the aging of the components subjected to various stresses, evaluating the impact on the performances and/or the reliability of the systems in which they will be integrated and proposing innovative solutions of in-situ monitoring of these drifts and ageing.

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