Twice a month, Yole SystemPlus experts share the noteworthy points from their automotive Teardown Tracks. Today, Benjamin Pussat and Morgan Collin, both Technology & Cost Analysts from Yole SystemPlus, take us to the heart of main inverters, DC/DC converters (with or without booster) and OBCs (On-Board Chargers) for xEVs.
Mainly led by BEVs, the increasing introduction of xEVs onto the road is fostering the development of innovative power conversion systems. The main inverter, the DC/DC boost converter, the DC/DC converter and the OBC are aimed to be used at different power levels (5-600 kW, 30-100 kW, 1-5 kW and 3-30 kW respectively). For each system, OEMs face several challenges: weight and size, thermal management, high voltage/power ratings and price. Teardowns carried out by Yole SystemPlus experts promise to reveal a raft of innovative solutions.
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Highlights from Yole SystemPlus Teardown Tracks
Due to the demand for increased power density, thermal management is certainly the challenge that is receiving the most attention. Among the solutions employed is the cooling device, which usually consists of a coolant circulating in small tubes placed inside the system, or occasionally, outside (as in the case of the Bosch DC/DC converter for Volkswagen ID.3). Denso has opted for a rather startling solution, with a double-sided cooling structure in which coolers and power cards are stacked alternately. Already used in Denso’s Si converter for Toyota Mirai I, this innovative design has been seen in several power converters for Toyota vehicles, including the DC/DC boost converter for the Mirai II.
SiC plays a major role in the system design. This wide band gap material, featuring high efficiency and power density, is mainly found packaged in modules in inverters. However, it is beginning to break out of its niche, with discrete SiC MOSFETs integrated in OBCs and even with SiC modules in DC/DC boost converters.
Another observation is the trend towards greater integration. Examples of solutions combining the inverter and DC/DC boost converter in Denso’s power control unit, or the OBC and DC/DC converter in Mobis’ charging control unit, have been analyzed by Yole SystemPlus. Other companies, like CRRC, are going a step further by providing the three systems (inverter, DC/DC converter and OBC) in one pack. However, despite the fact that OEMs are tackling the limits of space in cars, with more integrated systems, they find themselves facing increased complexity when it comes to thermal management.
Stay tuned for our next What’s in the box? Review dedicated to LiDAR technologies!
Yole SystemPlus Automotive Teardown Tracks are the result of detailed physical and costing analyses. They are carried out by experts with academic and industrial backgrounds in the semiconductor domain. Yole SystemPlus Teardown Tracks offer a clear and fruitful understanding of the technical choices made by the leading manufacturers. It also reveals accurate insights related to manufacturing costs.
The company covers the overall supply chain from the components to the system. Based on daily technical and industrial monitoring, Yole SystemPlus has significant expertise to support innovation.
About the authors
Benjamin Pussat is a Technology & Cost Analyst at Yole SystemPlus, part of Yole Group. With solid expertise in electronic systems and with a specific focus on automotive systems, Benjamin produces reverse engineering & costing analyses while also working on custom projects for the electronic systems teams. Benjamin identifies and analyzes the overall manufacturing process and determines the technical choices made for the system components. The objectives of this analysis are to understand the structure of the device, identify all the relevant components and determine the final manufacturing cost.
In addition, Benjamin updates internal tools and runs custom training sessions and demos with industrial organizations. He has also published some articles in the press.
Prior to Yole SystemPlus, Benjamin worked as an Engineering Technician at SEIA.
Benjamin holds a University Diploma in Technology in Electrical Engineering and Industrial Computing (Université de Nantes, France).
Morgan Collin is a Technology & Cost Analyst at Yole SystemPlus, part of Yole Group. With solid expertise in the analysis of electronics boards, Morgan produces reverse engineering & costing analyses while also working on custom projects for the electronic systems teams. His mission is to identify and analyze the electronic boards and mechanical components of devices during the disassembly process. The objectives of these analyses are to understand the structure of the device, identify all the components, and determine the final manufacturing cost. In addition, he works on the construction of the block diagrams for the different reports and monitors the display software.
Prior to Yole SystemPlus, Morgan worked as a production technician, purchasing and stock management, at Fougerolle.
Morgan holds a BTS Digital Systems degree (Ecole Jeanne d’Arc, France).
This article has been developed in collaboration with Ana Villamor, Team Lead Analyst, Power and Wireless Division at Yole Intelligence.