Thermal management and high-voltage creep resistance are integral to EV power conversion, and as manufacturers fight to increase electric vehicle ranges, power electronic components in the vehicle are put under even more intense strain. The three main power conversion systems, on-board charger (OBC), inverter, and DC/DC converter each present a range of technical challenges. Reducing the size of these components, while consolidating the inverters/converters and on-board chargers, without compromising the reliability and safe operation of these power electronics is key. The lifetime performance of the vehicle is addressed through shock and vibration stability, environmental suitability, and resistance to internal and external forces.
The miniaturization of power electronics—including on-board chargers—and integrating them with other EV systems (AC/DC inverters, DC/DC converters) helps manufacturers save valuable space. When these components are consolidated, component footprint is reduced and the result is less available surface area to act as a heat sink, despite the higher power density. Subsequently, these higher voltage devices create extreme operational and charging safety challenges, especially in the move towards fast charging. Thermal management becomes an even higher priority, determining how power electronics can be incorporated in the full vehicle design. Henkel’s thermal interface material portfolio, such as gap fillers, gap pads and thermally conductive adhesives, are specifically designed with EV innovation requirements in mind.
Safety and Reliability
AC/DC inverters, DC/DC converters, and on-board chargers are required to withstand harsh conditions and mechanical strain. Shock resistance and vibration stability across the lifecycle of the vehicle are key to safe and reliable power conversion–as well as ensuring the chemical and environmental resistance of the power electronics. Henkel’s technologies improve the durability and reliability of each of these power conversion components, with a variety of gasketing technologies for reliable sealing, and thermally conductive materials including thermal potting for high-heat dissipation.
Efficiency and Performance
The growth of wide band gap semiconductor devices (SiC, GaN) requires materials that can operate at higher temperatures, whilst still maintaining the same level of reliability. To ensure improved power density and higher efficiency for these types of power electronics, Henkel material solutions offer efficient thermal management and superior heat dissipation. These advanced thermal materials are leading the way in the power conversion market, allowing manufacturers to innovate and design for these new and existing challenges.
Reducing material and processing costs in power conversion systems remains another challenge for manufacturers looking to streamline production costs through shorter cycle times and automated production. Henkel’s longstanding focus on automated processes for liquid materials and gasketing ensures manufacturers can reduce energy costs through room-temperature curing solutions, reduce labor costs through more efficient automation, and increase process reliability and total output.