As drives in electric vehicles have to deliver the highest electrical power, regulating this power on an ongoing basis and reliably over long periods of time in the smallest possible space is a challenge. Cooling the power electronics in the powertrains is key in this context. For this thermal management, CeramTec is developing ceramic coolers with applied metallisation, which allow the semiconductor chips to be applied directly to the ceramic cooler (chip-on-heatsink). The joint project with Fraunhofer, called FuCera, focuses on the development of a module design that efficiently deheats the SiC chips by using ceramic coolers and makes the best possible use of the chip surface.
High-performance ceramics offer several advantages compared with conventional materials such as metals and plastics. They are resistant to temperature changes, corrosion, and chemicals. In addition, they offer high thermal conductivity and electrical insulation as well as strength and good tribological properties. Therefore, high-performance ceramic solutions are a versatile solution in e-mobility. Due to their low thermal resistance and simultaneous electrical insulation ceramic solutions offer particular advantages to provide cooling in power electronics, e.g., in thermal management, voltage converters, drive control or brake energy recovery. Based on the wide range of ceramic materials and the associated combinations of customised property profiles, CeramTec can address different requirements in e-mobility and develop customised and innovative concepts together with customers.
"We are delighted to be able to contribute our expertise and collaborate with the Fraunhofer Institute, while at the same time having a first-class research and development partner at our side to further strengthen and expand our e-mobility offering," says Richard Boulter, Managing Director of the Industrial Division at CeramTec.
"Innovation is a multi-layered process that requires looking beyond purely scientific horizons. In CeramTec, we have found a very reliable and experienced industry partner for our project in order to jointly develop a solution that advances e-mobility," adds Dr Christoph F. Bayer, Group Manager at the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen.