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ITEC Asia-Pacific 2014 1569952339

IGBT Condiition Monitoring with System

Ideentification Methods
Chen Wang1, Bingg Ji1, Xueguan Song2, Volker Pickert1 and Wenpinng Cao3
Newcastle University, School of Eleectrical & Electronic Engineering, NE1 7RU, UK, Enggland,
Dalian University of Technology, School of Mechanical Engineering, 116024, China,
Queens University Belfast, School of EEEC, BT9 5AH, UK, Northern Ireland,

Abstract-- This work investigates the aginga effects of the conditions. If left untreated, thee progressive degradation may
degraded effective heat dissipation path of poower semiconductor exceed a yield point to trigger ana imminent overstress failure
devices. Solder layer fatigue is identified as one of the commonly mechanism (i.e. fracture, meltinng or other thermal fault, etc.).
observed wear-out failures that reduces the system availability
The main sources of stress forr power electronics device are
and reliability. A health monitoring method is proposed with
system identification techniques, which alllows for the early presented in Fig.1. The thermo-mechanical stress induced by
detection of the presence of abnormal therrmal behaviors and the cyclic temperature swingss is considered as the main
evaluation of solder layer health. The therm mal network is built failure cause for the frequently observed wear-out failures i.e.
for thermal characterization and it can be updated
u online with bond wire lift-off, chip solderr fatigue and baseplate solder
system identification technique. This can ensure
e the junction fatigue.
temperature being accurately estimated und der the condition of
degraded heat dissipation path. A fast and low computational
burden estimation method is preferrred for online
implementation and the Fast Affine Projeection algorithm is
used. Compared with conventional adaptivee algorithm, such as
Least Mean Squares and Recursive Least Squares S methods, it
has fast convergence speed and low computaational burden. The
simulation result shows its superior peerformance to the
alternative techniques.
Keywords: Failure, IGBT, monitoring, reliability, system


The electrified transportation has beeen and will be

continuously expanding with the techniical advancement, Fig. 1. Sources of stress for power eleectronics of H/EVs [2]
energy anxiety and sustainability demandss. Power electronic
system is one of the major parts to form the power train of
hybrid/electric vehicles (H/EVs) and theeir robustness and
reliability has become a determining factorr in determining in chip
the competitiveness of hybrid/electric vehiicles (H/EVs) over
their counterparts of internal combustionn engine vehicles. cracks
Insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) poower modules play
a vital role in the electrical energy conttrol in an H/EVs substrate
powertrain and their lifetime and reliabbility are directly voids
relevant to the overall cost (operational andd maintenance) and
customer satisfaction. baseplate
IGBT failure mechanisms are due too a process or a Fig. 2. Solder layer fatigue in forms of
o voids and cracks
combination of processes (mechanical, chhemical, electrical,
thermal, etc.) that produces degradations or o faults. They can In practice, de-rating is a widely adopted approach to
be broadly categorized as random (or suddden) and wear-out reduce thermo-mechanical stresss related failures and improve
(gradual) failures. Random failures are noormally referred to the reliability of power modulles. This however may incur
the catastrophic failures as a result of commponent defects or size, weight and cost pennalties due to unnecessary
overstress conditions. Their occurrences area mainly reduced components. An alternative technique
t is to apply health
by manufacturing and fabrication quality control, optimized monitoring method. Solder fatiggue is the focus of this paper.
design and de-rating operation. Wearr-out failures are The thermal behavior of IGB BT power modules in steady-
attributed to the accumulation of incrremental physical state and transient-state are normally
n characterized by the
damage under the functional and environm mental load (stress)

thermal resistance and thermal impedancee, respectively. For
the thermal analysis of IGBT modules, the thermal equivalent
model and finite element analysis (FEA) simulation method
are often utilized that can be validated by exxperiment results. In order to study the system characteristics with real-time
Thanks to the fast development of Digitaal Signal Processor digital control system, the transsfer function can be presented
(DSP), many advanced adaptive algorithm ms are widely used below in discrete domain,
in signal processing, including echo cancellation and adaptive
filtering [1,2]. Many variations of basic adaptive algorithms
has been developed in recent years [3-7]. DueD to the features
of fast convergence speed, high accuracyy estimation result
and low computational cost, some adaptivve algorithms have
been implemented in online systeem identification
applications. Online system identificatioon relies on the Chip
adaptive algorithms to estimate the system m parameters with
real-time acquired input and output data off the system [8-11]. Die-attach
This technique has been applied in manny areas of power
electronics [12-16]. For power modules with on-going ageing Substrate
processes, system thermal performance deggrades as a result of
the effective heat path fatigue. More preccisely, the thermal Solder
resistance and thermal impedance are altereda due to the
fatigue occurring in specific layers. Sysstem identification Baseplate
techniques can be employed to detect such parameter change,
which enables either a pre-fault protecttion or scheduled Heat sink
maintenance to improve the system availabbility. This method
Fig. 3. Multi-structure of layers in IGB
BT [18]
also allows locating the specific unheallthy layer and its
severity. This paper proposes a Fast Affinee Projection (FAP)
algorithm to realize the aforementioned funnctions.
In this paper, the Thermal equivalent electrical
e circuit is
presented in section II. The proposeed algorithm are
introduced and derived in section III. Thhe superior of Fast
Affine Projection is analyzed in Sectiion IV, which is T(Junction) Rth1 Rth2 Rth3 T(Ambient)
followed by the simulation result presenteed in Section V to
verify the performance of the proposeed algorithm. The
Cth1 Cth2 Cth3 Cthn
simulation result for Monitoring IGBT in unhealthy
u condition
will be presented eventually.
Fig. 4. Typical thermal RC models in Cauer
C network
With the well-established thermal-eelectrical analogy,
lumped parameter thermal equivalent RC circuits are widely
used to solve heat dissipation problemss. Various models
including Cauer model, Foster model andd T-model can be
implemented in circuit simulation softwaree like PSpice and
Matlab Simulink. By assuming that the t majority heat
dissipates from the heat sink, the thermal behavior of power
modules can be studied in one-ddimensional (1D)
The cross section of a standard IGBT module
m is shown in
Fig. 3. Its thermal behavior is studied withh a Cauer model, as
shown in Fig. 4, which is comprised of a finite
fi number of Rth
and Cth that stands for thermal resistaance and thermal
capacitance of different layers [17]. A celll or multiple cells
can stand for an internal layer of IGBT. Thhe RthCth network is
described by a mathematical model by using u conventional
transfer function below.
Fig. 5. Autoregressive with exogenoous input (ARX) model

Next, the system is represented as a mathematical model used in the approximation [1] and is the number of
that uses iterative input and output data express the last step parameters. The regression matrix as shown below:
output data called difference equation or Autoregressive with
exogenous input (ARX) model, shows as Eq. (3)

where stands for the output data in th sampling point, 1

1 (7)
and stands for the input data in th sampling point.
and are the model parameters that are relative to the 1
thermal network components in Fig. 4. From (5), (6) and (7), the recursion of Affine Projection
, 0 (8)
IGBT modules are the main components for traction drive
application. Ideally, nonintrusive health condition should be
implemented for power converters during its normal B. Comparison Between Conventional Adaptive Algorithm
operation. However, in our proposed method, a specified test and Fast Affine Projection
condition (e.g. power, cooling conditions, etc.) is required to The calculation accuracy of the FAP algorithm depends on
maintain its repeatability and accuracy. In another word, an the selection of K. The larger value of K, the higher accuracy
interruption is needed beyond the normal drive conditions. of the estimation results can be obtained. The computational
For this reason, system identification techniques with the fast cost of the FAP algorithm is determined by both the number
and accurate adaptive algorithm can increase the health of parameters and the constant value K [2], while LMS and
monitoring speed without compromising its effectiveness, RLS algorithms are only affected by the .
which is beneficial for minimizing the intrusion to the system. Therefore, FAP is characterized with the relatively low
To determine the parameters of the ARX model, the FAP computational cost in specific cases compared with
algorithm is employed in this study. To verify the accuracy conventional adaptive algorithms.
and computational effectiveness of FAP algorithm, it is
compared with other two conventional adaptive algorithms TABLE I. COMPUATIONAL COST FOR FAST AFFINE PROJECTION
Least Mean Squares (LMS) and Recursive Least Squares
(RLS). Algorithms
A. Fast Affine Projection RLS 5 1 3 1
The FAP algorithm is developed by approximating the FAP
1 1
cross-correlation of a stochastic-gradient recursion [1]: 2 2 2 2 2 1
LMS 2 1 2
(4) The stands for the number of estimated parameter and is finite
regression constant of Fast Affine Projection
where is the parameter matrix, is the iteration number,
is the step size. and are the regression matrices Table I shows the iterative calculation in terms of addition,
which contain the input and output data and they are different multiplication and division. is determined by the system
forms developed in each algorithm. This expression can also order. In the case of the study, a third order RC network is
be expressed by regularized Newtons recursion used to represent the IGBT thermal model and M=6. It can be
seen that the computational cost of RLS is largely affected by
(5) in comparison to FAP. The calculation with RLS can be
extremely complicated given a higher order system. In
In this algorithm, the most recent sampling data from input comparison, there are totally 67 multiplications, 54 additions
and output is used to form the regression matrix. A positive and 1 division for RLS, compared with 40 multiplication, 39
integer K is used to define how many step values are to be additions for FAP when K=2 is applied.


Although LMS has the lower computational cost, its slow Transfer
convergence speed will impede fast completion of the system function n=1 n=2 n=3
identification and is left off. The parameter convergence
curve is shown in Fig. 6, which indicates FAP is the quickest -2.043 1.26 -0.2106
among all three adaptive algorithms. The LMS has significant 0.3606 -0.56 0.2083
oscillation even after considerable amount of the iterations
-2.196 1.529 -0.3284
have been completed. Therefore, a relative accurate value can unhealthy
hardly be determined compared with RLS and FAP. 0.4113 -0.6616 0.2587
MONITORING A FAP algorithm is then implemented in Matlab to
Simulation result for online system identification is estimate the transfer function parameters for both conditions.
presented in this section. A 3 level RC network is applied to Their simulation results for the healthy condition and the
represent the thermal equivalent electrical circuit. The unhealthy condition are presented in Fig. 7 and Fig. 8,
parameters of the 3rd order RC networks under both health respectively.
and unhealthy condition of IGBT are presented in Table II. It can be seen that transfer function parameters are changed
Different results of the estimated parameter values indicate in the two figures, which can be illustrated clearly in Fig. 9
the aging conditions of the thermal network and their failure where a sudden change of R1 occurs at t=10s. An online
locations can be interpreted. system identification process has been done in this case.
When the R1 variation occurs, all parameters starts to
TABLE II. SYSTEM PARAMETER UNDER HEALTHY AND UNHEALTHY deviate from their original values and rapidly converge to
CONDITION new steady state values within 1.5s. The corresponding
Thermal temperature change of the thermal capacitor C1 is shown in
i=1 i=2 i=3
elements Fig. 10. Compared with Fig. 10, the convergence curve in
Rthi 0.55 0.65 0.25 Fig. 9 shows the parameters are estimated almost at the same
healthy time when the transient response of temperature waveform
Cthi 0.0182 0.07 0.7
finished. This means system identification process is fast
Rthi 0.85 0.65 0.25 enough that allowing actions to resolve the failure. The
Cthi 0.0182 0.07 0.7 sampling frequency is 100Hz and approximate 1.5s is
adequate for the executing the system identification
procedure, which means only a total of 150 sampling points
For the simplicity of the test, only thermal resistance is are required.
assumed to be altered by the aging process and the thermal This fast completion of the FAP based system
capacitance is consistent. This is emulated by varying R1 identification techniques enables an online health monitoring
from 0.55 to 0.85. According to the classic control theory of the effective heat path. This allows for accurate and fast
[19,20], a transformation from discrete domain to continuous detections of the aging layers of the thermal network.
domain is applied to identify the altered thermal parameters Consequently, either a pre-fault protection or scheduled
of the RC network. RC network can be condition monitored. maintenance can be conducted to improve the system
The parameters of the corresponding transfer functions in availability.
discrete domain are then calculated for both conditions and The estimated parameters can be briefly validated by the
they are listed Table III. calculated results from Table III. To further evaluate the
accuracy of parameter estimation, two transfer functions are
1 built based on the calculated parameters and estimated
parameters. Their unit step responses are plotted as shown in
Parameter value

0.5 Ture value Fig. 11. It can be seen that the two step response curves are
FAP almost aligned, which means the estimated parameters are
0 RLS accurate for the heath monitoring purpose.

300 350 400 450 500
Number of iterations, k
Fig. 6. Convergence curve for three adaptive algorithms

1.5 Step Response

1 1.6
use estimated parameters
1.4 steady state value for TF1
0.5 use real parameters
1.2 steady state value for TF2

-0.5 0.8
-1 B2 0.6
A1 0.4
A3 0.2
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
Time (seconds)
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Fig. 11. Step response for estimated parameters and real parameters
Fig. 7. Convergence curve of RC network parameters under healthy
Power module thermal performance degradation has been
1.5 widely identified as one of the main limiting factors for their
1 lifespan and reliability. Solder fatigue is a commonly
0.5 observed failure mechanism in practice and an online health
0 monitoring method is proposed by using system identification
-0.5 techniques. The thermal equivalent circuit is used to study the
B2 thermal performance of the IGBT modules. It is evaluated
A1 and estimated online with the Fast Affine Projection
A3 algorithm is used, which has been compared with other
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
adaptive algorithms, such as Least Mean Squares and
Fig. 8. Convergence curve of RC network parameters under unhealthy Recursive Least Squares algorithms. Its fast convergence
speed, low computational burden and high accuracy proves
its superior performance to the alternative techniques.


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