7 February 2018
ROHM opens European test lab for power electronics components
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Demonstrating the deployment of its global strategy for the power semiconductor market in Europe, ROHM Semiconductor has opened its new European ‘Power Lab’, located at its European headquarter in Willich-Münchheide, near Dusseldorf, Germany. The project took several months and ended in 2017 with approval by Germany’s TÜV, a global technical services provider of quality, safety and sustainability solutions.
The 300m2 lab’s purpose is the analysis of power components and systems to provide customers with support at the application level. The test lab is hence equipped with several test benches with a separate high-voltage area.
Picture: ROHM’s test lab for power components.
“Electric vehicles, charging station infrastructure, industrial machinery, solar and wind power plants as well as white goods such as washing machines require more and more power semiconductors to comply with the energy efficiency requirements, which have to be tested and validated at early stage of the development phase,” says Power Lab head Aly Mashaly, manager of the Power Systems Department. “Because there were no suitable test benches on the market, we decided to develop and design the test benches based on our own requirements subsequently. In this way, we ensure the high scalability of the test benches and their flexibility for future modifications,” he adds.
ROHM can electrically characterize all of its semiconductor components such as silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs, SiC diodes, insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), silicon power MOSFETs and gate drivers, with voltages up to 8000VDC.
The power test bench enables tests on AC/DC, DC/DC, DC/AC and AC/AC converters under real application conditions up to 15kVA. Additionally, high-precision measurements of efficiency and losses can be performed with power analyzers. Among this test bench’s special features are an AC power supply (grid emulator) and electronic loads (AC and DC). Maximum voltages under test are 1500VDC and 400VAC.
The calorimetric test bench is for analyzing the thermal behavior of power discrete devices, modules, electronic boards and complete power electronics systems. This test bench can test with very high current supplies of hundreds of Amps and has a climatic chamber for testing under special temperature conditions ranging from -40°C to +180°C. Humidity can be set between 10% and 98%.
The high-voltage test bench for voltages up to 8000V is located in a separate room to protect the tester during the operation.
ROHM can also investigate and test the insulation sections (clearance and creepage distances) at the board and system levels up to 6000V.
“This investment shows our determination to be one of the major suppliers in SiC and silicon power discrete and integrated device technologies,” says ROHM Europe’s president Christian André. “The new Power Lab is a central piece of our quality and reliability scheme.”