GT-PowerForge

Benchmark Software for Power Converters

Software OverviewWHAT IS GT-POWERFORGE?

GT-PowerForge is a power converter design software designed from the ground up to compare a great number of power converter solutions.

Sweeping over a wide range of design parameters, GT-PowerForge will automatically generate power converter solutions.

power converter simulation

Modular Model Resolution KEY CONVERTER PERFORMANCE INDICATOR ESTIMATES

For each explored design option, PowerForge estimates the key converter performance indicators:

  • Losses – including a chip-by-chip breakdown of conduction losses and switching losses
  • Mass / weight
  • Volume
  • Costs

These figures include not only semiconductor devices but also heatsink and filtering inductors / capacitors. Customizable first-order models are available to estimate the performance of these passive components.

Power Converter Database LIBRARIES OF COMPONENTS & MATERIALS

PowerForge offers large libraries of power converter components. It allows you to find the best semiconductor technology and manufacturer for your power converter.

These libraries are assembled from manufacturer-provided data, harmonized in a universal data set enabling a fair comparison across manufacturers and technologies:

  • Semiconductors in discrete or module packages (leg, NPC, T-type) with Si IGBT, Si MOSFET, SiC MOSFET and GaN FET from the major manufacturers. (Conduction and switching losses are included for all technologies)
  • Film capacitors from multiple manufacturers with electrical characteristics including ESR.
  • Magnetic materials with main characteristics and loss curves.
PowerForge_Libraries

Automated multi-parameter sweepKEY CONVERTER DESIGN PARAMATERS

Sweep over many values for all key converter design parameters to explore countless possibilities and reach the optimal design.

Key parameters available for sweeping include:

  • Power semiconductor devices (IGBT, Si/SiC MOSFET, GaN FET)
  • Topologies and number of levels
  • Switching frequency
  • Modulation strategy
  • Number of parallel devices
  • Number of interleaved parallel legs

GT-PowerForge provides comprehensive performance data for each parameter combination, helping engineers to identify the best power converter design solution.

Advanced Features

Many topologies of both non-isolated DC/DC converters and 3-phase inverters are available for comparison in PowerForge:

DC to DC:

  • 2-Level Buck
  • 2-Level Boost
  • Multilevel (3-Level, 4-Level, etc.) Flying Capacitor Buck
  • Multilevel (3-Level, 4-Level, etc.) Flying Capacitor Boost

DC to DC isolated:

  • Dual Active Bridge (DAB)

AC to DC:

  • Three Phase 2-level AFE
  • Three Phase 3-level NPC AFE
  • Three Phase 3-level T-Type AFE
  • Three Phase Vienna Rectifier
  • Three Phase Multilevel (3-Level, 4-Level, etc.) Flying Capacitor AFE
  • Three Phase Multilevel (3-Level, 4-Level, etc.) Stacked Multicell Converter AFE

DC to AC:

  • Three Phase 2-Level Inverter
  • Three phase 3-Level NPC Inverter
  • Three Phase 3-Level T-Type Inverter
  • Three Phase Multilevel (3-Level, 4-Level, etc.) Flying Capacitor Inverter
  • Three Phase Multilevel (3-Level, 4-Level, etc.) Stacked Multicell Inverter

For motor drive design (especially in the Medium Voltage domain) the choice of the pulse-width modulation (PWM) strategy can have a major impact on both the efficiency and the harmonic distortion (THD).

PowerForge offers a panel of 10 inverter modulation strategies (sine, third harmonic injection, space vectors) and the choice between PD and APOD multilevel carrier dispositions.

Effortlessly build graphs that highlight the power converters performance trade-offs relevant to your project, such as:

  • Efficiency vs cost
  • Power density vs cost

After exploring a wide range of design options, identifying the “efficiency vs power density” Pareto front is immediate using these customizable graphs. With the help of result filtering, you may also compare across several possible solutions how total converter losses and cost are broken down between semiconductor devices, heatsink and filtering passives.

PowerForge offers a connection with industry-standard software tools (PSIM, PLECS, Excel…). These file exports help the designers compare, verify and carry on with the design of their chosen solution.

  • PSIM and PLECS: PowerForge creates a schematic file of a selected solution with the associated semiconductor loss model files. These files can be used for verification of loss estimates and converter control development.
  • FEMM (Finite Element Method Magnetics): inductor 2D finite-element models can be exported from PowerForge and used to verify, fine-tune and optimize inductor designs through electromagnetic finite element analysis.
  • Excel: PowerForge creates multiple files containing:
    • All the evaluated solution main characteristics (efficiency, cost, power,…)
    • The details of a solution (each semiconductor losses, capacitance losses,…)
    • The efficiency vs output power of a chosen device.

PowerForge offers an API to seamlessly connect your everyday tools to its full capabilities:

  • Automate sweeps using data from your own workflow
  • Exploit design results provided by PowerForge directly into your homemade tools
  • Update designs stored into PowerForge, with data computed from your own models
  • Create batches of private components from spreadsheets, data dictionaries…

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GT-PowerForge allows to sweep and compare multiple switching frequencies to identify:

  • Switching frequency impact on loss and cost (also on mass & volume not displayed here)
  • The influence of increasing the switching frequency on the switching losses:
    • Cooling system oversizing and cost increase
    • Reduces the filtering size and cost
  • Optimal switching frequency can then be found to minimize the cost

GT-PowerForge allows to sweep temperatures to evaluate the impact of switching frequency on efficiency and cost:

  • Increased temperature margin:
    • Less losses
    • Bigger cooling system size
    • Less need of overload protection
  • Reduced temperature margin:
    • Reduces cooling size and price
    • More risk of failure

GT-PowerForge allows to compare multiple power converter topologies to find the best trade-off between cost and efficiency:

  • At same junction temperature, using multiple switch in parallel increases the cost (x2 the number of devices) but decreases significantly the losses
  • Parallelized switches increase frequency range
  • By increasing the switching frequency as well, a trade-off between the target efficiency and the cost can be found.
  • Evaluate and compare hundreds of parameters sets, including:
    • Switch reference (Si MOSFET)
    • Switching frequency
    • Switch directly in parallel
  • Find the optimal solution by exploring all power converter designs, according to your own constraints

Contact us for more information about our products and services.

Reach out today!