High-Reliability Electric Propulsion Drives Based on Digital Twin Technologies

  • He, Jiangbiao (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract Electric propulsion is an emerging technology that can significantly improve the energy efficiency, mitigate carbide emission and acoustic noise, as well as reduce operation cost for transportation tools, such as electric aircraft, electric vehicles, and electric shipboards. However, for these safety-critical applications, reliability of the propulsion drive systems has received very limited attention, although electric propulsion has grown rapidly over the past years. This project aims to develop digital twin technologies for electric propulsion drive systems used in transportation applications. Specifically, targeting at the semiconductor switching faults in power inverters of propulsion drives, an online non-invasive lifetime prediction model and diagnostic model will be developed in this proposed research. The circuit topology of the power inverter under investigation here is a three-level active neutral point clamped (ANPC) inverter due to its multiple performance benefits for electric propulsion applications, such as high-quality output waveforms, low dv/dt in the output voltage, and high dc-bus voltage withstanding capability. The online prediction digital model is to estimate the instantaneous junction temperature and the remaining power cycling lifetime of the power inverter, based on high-fidelity lifetime degradation model, junction-to-case thermal model of the inverter, and the sensed baseplate or case temperature of the semiconductor switches. The proposed lifetime prediction model will be validated in the power cycling acceleration tests on semiconductor switches in the laboratory, before it will be embedded into the microprocessors of the propulsion drives. The online diagnostic digital model is to detect and identify the switching faults in the power inverters of the propulsion drive systems. The input information of the diagnostic model includes the measured dc-bus voltage and output AC current, as well as the instantaneous information of the switching states of the inverter, which is typically all available in the microcontrollers of propulsion drives. A faulty switch will be detected and identified based on comparing the expected neutral point current to the measured real- time values. The proposed online lifetime prediction model and diagnostic model will be experimentally verified in an existing 50-kW three-phase three-level ANPC inverter in the laboratory. Once the function of the prognostic and diagnostic models is confirmed, these digital models will be embedded into the system microprocessor. As a result, an effective digital twin for monitoring the health condition of the semiconductor devices in power inverters will be established, which improves the reliability of propulsion drives and avoid accidents in transportation applications.
Effective start/end date9/1/2111/30/23


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