Active power devices are smaller and more efficient when based on wide bandgap (WBG) materials such as SiC and GaN in comparison with Si, today main material used in power electronics applications. WBG devices help to reduce thermal losses during electricity conversion, and to reduce conversion systems size and cost. Potential applications range from universal USB charger to PV panel inverters, electric vehicles inverters and on board chargers and uninterrumpted poser systems (UPS) used for datacenters.
This PhD thesis aims to asses and analyze the environmental impacts of wide bandgap (SiC, GaN) based power electronics, going further than energy efficiency and power density (W/kg) gains. In addition, the research activity will target methods and design guidelines to reduce power electronics environmental impacts. In collaboration between CEA-Leti Devices and Systems departments together with Grenoble Electrical Engineering Lab (G2ELab), the PhD student will assess the environmental footprint of wide bandgap devices, of WBG based converters, taking into account the device life cycle, from manufacturing to usage phases and end of life management, following life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology.
The PhD student will assess various applications, with different system integration approaches, on projects carried out at CEA-Leti or with partners, in order to identify the hot spots. The PhD work include the development of a methodology to assess the impacts at R&D level and to extrapolate these results at industrial level. Based on LCA results, the PhD student will establish an eco-design tool and/or guidelines towards the appropriate data, tools and methodologies to take into account and minimize the environmental impacts when designing power electronics systems.