Nowadays battery powered motor-driven solutions may commonly deliver hundreds of watts power using very low operating voltages. In such applications a correct management of currents flowing through the motor driving electronics is deemed necessary to ensure overall system efficiency and reliability.
Indeed, motor currents may exceed tens of amperes, leading to increased power dissipation inside the inverter. More power to the inverter components results in higher temperatures, performance degradation end even sudden breaks if going above maximum allowed ratings. The optimization of thermal performance, in combination with a compact form factor, is a key aspect of the inverter design phase that might hide pitfalls if not properly addressed.
An approach to this problem has been the production of prototypes successively refined using on-field validation. However electrical and thermal evaluations were totally separated, and electrical-thermal coupling effects were never addressed during design. This usually resulted in several iterations and long time to market. A more effective alternative method is currently available to optimize the electro-thermal performance of motor control systems by taking advantage of modern simulation technologies.