The demand for high power density, therefore high heat dissipation, silicon carbide power electronics modules is propelled by applications such as hybrid transportation and renewable power generation and conversion, among others. Besides a low thermal resistance, these applications require high thermal capacitance to manage transient operations.
The Package Integrated Cyclone COoler (PICCO) is an additively manufactured, thermal energy storing cooler codesigned by GE Research (GRC) in collaboration with the US Army Research Lab (ARL). The key aspect of PICCO is its capability to swirl a two-phase coolant, i.e. liquid-gas. The centrifugal field creates a radial pressure gradient inducing buoyancy. The strong radial acceleration to which the fluid is subject forces relatively cold flow outward to reach the hot wall, thus boosting the heat transfer, while hot flow and bubbles migrate inward and the two-phase system is nearly isothermal (thermal storage).
In this paper, we introduce a novel power module package which brings together silicon carbide devices, Power OverLay (POL) wirebondless interconnect, and two-phase swirling flow in an additively manufactured cooler. Various embodiments of this power module structure are presented along with a discussion on their thermal behavior when subjected to a hybrid vehicle drive cycle.