Thermal modelling of integrated power convertors (CSC-related)

Genk - PhD
More than two weeks ago

High power density converters are required in more applications, especially in those where volume and weight are critical or with strict size requirements which however induces thermal issues because heat is to be evacuated through a limited surface inducing reliability issues


Nowadays, high power density converters are required in more applications, especially in those where volume and weight are critical or with strict size requirements. Consequently, the concept of integrated power converters was proposed as a solution of these power density demands. In an integrated converter, switches, diodes, gate drivers, sensors, and even passive components can be installed within a monolithic power module.

Nevertheless, when a power converter is condensed in a monolithic power module, its area is drastically reduced. And dissipating the heat, generated by the power losses in the power module, becomes a challenge as there is not enough area as in the conventional discrete power converters.

Consequently, thermal modelling of these integrated power converters is required as well as novel heat dissipation methods for small areas.  The proposed PhD project will focus on integrated power converters for applications in renewables (mainly solar), electric mobility, among others.

The PhD candidate can start from existing power converter models and dedicated expertise available in the research group, and will collaborate with the other research group members.

Required background: We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and communicative researcher with a Master Degree in Engineering or a related field. The applicant should have obtained excellent study scores.

The candidate should have a strong interest in energy, with knowledge in thermal modeling, electric systems, electronics, and control. Expertise in Matlab/Simulink, Comsol, Plecs, and experimental setups is highly valuated. Applicants should also have good English communication skills. Dutch proficiency is not required; however, its study is encouraged during the PhD program.

Note: In case of being selected, English Proficiency certificate (TOEFL or IELTS) and English translation and apostille of the diploma and official transcripts are required for the admission to the PhD program.

The research and the PhD program will be conducted at KU Leuven, located in Belgium. KU Leuven is among the top European universities, ranked as the top university in the Reuters ranking of Europe's most innovative universities. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, international university that performs both basic and applied research. It is a highly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary institution focused and committed to international excellence. KU Leuven actively works on this together with its research partners at home and abroad. The university offers an academic education that is based on scientific research of high quality.

This research is to be performed within the framework of EnergyVille in the city of Genk-Belgium. If the selected candidate requires to take courses, these will be given in the city of Leuven or in a Technology Campus in Flanders. Moreover, EnergyVille is one of the top European research centers in Energy. EnergyVille is a collaboration between the Flemish research partners KU Leuven, imec, VITO, and UHasselt towards the research into sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems. Their researchers provide expertise to industry and governments in the field of intelligent energy systems for a sustainable urban environment - such as smart grids and advanced heating networks.

Required background: Engineering science, Computer Science

Type of work: 70% modelling, 20% experimental, 10% literature

Supervisor: Jef Poortmans

Daily advisor: Patrizio Manganiello

The reference code for this position is 2020-068. Mention this reference code on your application form.
Chinese nationals who wish to apply for the CSC scholarship, should use the following code when applying for this topic: CSC2020-30.


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