Potential Power Semiconductor Devices
As reported in the industry and academics, the potential power semiconductor technologies in the wind power application are among the module packaging Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT), press-pack packaging IGBT and the press-pack packaging Integrated Gate Commutated Thyristor (IGCT). The three power semiconductor devices have quite different characteristics and are generally compared in Table 2.2. The module packaging technology of IGBT has a longer track record of applications and fewer mounting regulations. However, because of the soldering and bond-wire connection of the internal chips, module packaging devices may suffer from larger thermal resistance, lower power density, and higher failure rates. The press-pack packaging technology improves the connection of chips by direct press-pack contacting, which leads to improved reliability (yet to be scientiﬁcally proved but known from industrial experience), higher power density
(easier stacking for series connection), and better cooling capability with the dis- advantage of higher cost. Press-pack IGCTs were ﬁrst introduced into the medium-voltage motor drives in the 1990s and has already become state-of-the-art technology in the applications of oil, gas, HVDC, power quality, etc. However, IGCTs have not yet been mass adopted in the wind turbine system [21, 22].
In the attached special topic 1: “The Impact of Power Switching Devices on the Thermal Performance of a 10 MW Wind Power NPC Converter,” more loss and thermal performances of the three device solutions applied in a 10 MW wind power converter are presented. It is noted that, because of the rating limits and paralleled devices, in this case study the current flowing in each individual IGBT device is only half or 1/3 of that flowing in the IGCT, therefore, the loss and thermal level presented in the IGBT devices could be underestimated if considering the same current load in each individual device.