Prognostics of Power Electronics, methods and validation experiments

TitlePrognostics of Power Electronics, methods and validation experiments
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2012
AuthorsKulkarni, C., J. Celaya, K. Goebel, and G. Biswas
Date Published09/2012
Conference LocationAnaheim, CA

Failure of electronic devices is a concern for future electric aircrafts that will see an increase of electronics to drive and control safety-critical equipment throughout the aircraft. As a result, investigation of precursors to failure in electronics and prediction of remaining life of electronic components is of key importance. DC-DC power converters are power electronics systems employed typically as sourcing elements for avionics equipment. Current research efforts in prognostics for these power systems focuses on the identification of failure mechanisms and the development of accelerated aging methodologies and systems to accelerate the aging process of test devices, while continuously measuring key electrical and thermal parameters. Preliminary model-based prognostics algorithms have been developed making use of empirical degradation models and physics-inspired degradation model with focus on key components like electrolytic capacitors and power MOSFETs (metal-oxide-semiconductor-field-effect-transistor). This paper presents current results on the development of validation methods for prognostics algorithms of power electrolytic capacitors. Particularly, in the use of accelerated aging systems for algorithm validation. Validation of prognostics algorithms present difficulties in practice due to the lack of run-to-failure experiments in deployed systems. By using accelerated experiments, we circumvent this problem in order to define initial validation activities.