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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Transport > Reliability of high-power semiconductors for railway applications
Graphic element Reliability of high-power semiconductors for railway applications
     
 
New accelerated long-term reliability tests for high-power semiconductor components significantly reduce calculation time compared with standard finite element model.
 

In the railway sector where passengers' lives may depend on the performance of machines and electronic systems, European operators demand a reliable lifetime of 30-35 years for their electronic components, longer than that expected for other applications. The large majority of high powered semiconductors found in today's locomotives, like the ICE and Eurostar, are manufactured in Japan.

This project was aimed at developing accelerated long-term reliability tests for high-power semiconductor components, capable of predicting lifetimes of 30-35 years. This involved the use of a recently developed mathematical model which, in terms of power electronics, can significantly reduce the calculation time for temperature distribution and gradient on surface and in layers compared with the standard finite element model. Reliability indicators were identified and simulations carried out.

The project consortium was vertically integrated, consisting of rail operators, European power semiconductor manufacturers and industrial and non-industrial research centres. By harmonising European efforts on high-power semiconductors, partners hope to challenge Japanese domination of the market and to help safeguard jobs in the European power semiconductor industry.

Cordis RCN: 30989
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