A study on passive cooling in subsea power electronics

Faisal Wani, Udai Shipurkar, Jianning Dong, Henk Polinder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)


This paper proposes a simplified approach to model the thermal behavior of the insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) in a subsea power electronic converter. The models are based on empirical relations for natural convection in water, and IGBT datasheet values. The proposed model can be used in the design of subsea converters and in the reliability analysis of their IGBTs. Experimental results are provided to validate the proposed thermal model. Suggestions are made to minimize the net thermal resistance by introducing a high conductivity thermal material as a mounting plate between the IGBT and the cabinet walls. Impact of the mounting plate dimensions, and material properties on the junction temperature of the IGBTs is studied. A case study analysis is made on a 100 kVA converter. Results indicate that the thermal spreading resistances in the mounting plate and the cabinet walls contribute significantly to the overall thermal resistance. Spreading resistances can be mitigated by appropriate design measures. Furthermore, it was observed that the passive cooling in water is not as effective as the forced water cooling. However, the low cost, simple design and higher reliability of passive cooling systems might make them a favorable choice for subsea systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8520864
Pages (from-to)67543-67554
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care  
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Analytical models
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Convection
  • Cooling
  • IGBT
  • Insulated gate bipolar transistors
  • Natural Convection
  • Submerged power electronics
  • Thermal management of electronics
  • Thermal resistance
  • tidal turbines


Dive into the research topics of 'A study on passive cooling in subsea power electronics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this