PCIM Europe 2020 Winners of the PCIM Europe Young Engineer Awards 2020

| Author / Editor: PCIM Europe / Florian Richert

Bugs in SiC MOSFETs, power modules for high-temperature automotive applications and different equalizer circuits in lithium-ion cells are the topics of this year's top three entries for the PCIM Europe Young Engineer Award. In their contributions, the three winners address future-relevant topics that provide optimization for the use of power electronics solutions in various applications.

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Each year, the PCIM Europe conference honours young engineers for outstanding work in the field of power electronics.
Each year, the PCIM Europe conference honours young engineers for outstanding work in the field of power electronics.
(Source: PCIM Europe | Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH)

Annually, engineers who are not older than 35 years submit their contributions to the "Young Engineer Awards" of the PCIM Europe. The three best are selected by the PCIM Europe conference committee and awarded a prize of 1,000 euros each. The finalists must present their work in person at the PCIM Europe conference to qualify for the award.

PCIM Europe 2021 - Call for Papers open

Submit your abstract until 15 October 2020 and become a speaker at the
PCIM Europe 2021 from 4 to 6 May 2021 at Nuremberg, Germany.

Abstract submission

1st price - Patrick Hofstetter, University of Bayreuth, Germany

Parasitic Turn-On of SiC MOSFETs - Turning a Bug into a Feature
This paper shows, that the unwanted parasitic turn-on (PTO) in SiC MOSFETs does not always need to be of a disadvantage. It is shown that a small PTO can even be used to lower the maximum overvoltage at the body diode during the diode turn-off. In applications where this is the limiting condition for the switching speed, this means that the SiC MOSFET turn-on can be accelerated leading to immensely lower losses.

Patrick Hofstetter received his bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2014 and 2016, respectively. From 2017-2019 he was working at the University of Bayreuth, where he did research on various ruggedness, protection, and optimization topics of SiC MOSFETs and where he wrote his doctoral thesis on the highest utilization of SiC MOSFETs in traction converters. In the course of this research the awarded paper originated. At the beginning of 2020, he has joined the Siemens AG to work on medium voltage converters.

2nd price - Kirill Klein, Fraunhofer Institute IZM, Germany

Low Inductive Full Ceramic SiC Power Module for High-Temperature Automotive Applications
This paper presents a new power module technology suitable for automotive high power and high temperature applications. SiC MOSFETs are sintered into to the LTCC substrate cavity from top side and soldered to SiN-AMB from bottom side. Primary DC link RC-snubber, driver booster and high current contacts are soldered on ceramic stack. Base plate free water cooling concept using ultra-short thermal path with 3D printed heat sink allows to fullfil thermal requirements for 150kW power.

Kirill Klein gained Bachelor and Master degrees at TU Berlin with focus on high-frequency and semiconductor technology. He works since 2013 at Fraunhofer IZM and TU Berlin. His primary task is to develope power modules concepts and solutions considering and electro-magnetic and thermo-mechanic and system integration and manufacturing designs.

3rd price - Francesco Porpora, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Italy

Performance Analysis of Active and Passive Equalizer Circuits for Lithium-Ion Cells
This paper proposes the performance analysis of two different architectures for passive and active Battery Management System (BMS). The comparison has been performed in terms of equalization speed, power losses, complexity of both hardware and software implementation, size and cost. Numerical and experimental analyses have been performed to validate the performance of each equalizer circuit in charging, discharging and idle state.

Francesco Porpora received the B.E. degree in industrial engineering and the M.E. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio in 2014 and 2017, respectively. Since 2017, he has been working toward the Ph.D. degree in the Laboratory of Automation, Department of Electrical and Information Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio. Mr. Porpora’s research activities focus on modeling, optimization and control of electrochemical energy storage systems for powertrain systems. His research in energy storage systems includes modeling of Lithium ion batteries, experimental characterization and development/prototyping of battery management systems and thermal management systems for Li-ion packs.