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Advanced cooling technology could halve drive sizes

08 May, 2009

At the recent Hannover Fair, Parker Hannifin SSD previewed an advanced cooling technology for high-power drives which, it says, will minimise drive footprints and cut installation time and costs. The system could reduce the size of a 1MW DC-fed drive by about half, and avoid the need for derating.

The hermetically-sealed system uses a two-phase dielectric coolant that absorbs heat rapidly from the drive’s IGBTs and changes from a liquid to a vapour as it passes through high-density cold plates. The technology, which originated in another Parker company, is said to need less coolant to be pumped than other technologies as well as reducing thermal cycling of the drive electronics, resulting in high reliability and long component lives. It can also allow switching frequencies to be increased.

The technology needs no compressor and transfers the heat to air or water via a condenser. The non-conductive dielectric cooling fluid eliminates the risks of leak-related damage, short-circuits and corrosion that are associated with water-cooled drive designs. No routine maintenance is needed and, if necessary, the phase modules can be replaced rapidly using leak-free connectors.

Initially, the cooling technology will be supplied with versions of Parker SSD’s AC890PX modular AC drives rated from 250kW, 400V to 1.2MW, 690V. Versions up to 1.6MW have been tested in the laboratory. Drives with the advanced cooling system are expected to cost about 20% more than standard models.

For more Hannover Fair news, see our in-depth report.

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