On integrity assessment of IGBT-based power stacks used in magnet power supplies for particle accelerators

Coordinating university or institute

Chalmers University of Technology, www.chalmers.se



Project description

The aim of this research project was to prevent malfunctions and downtime of particle accelerators at CERN caused by failures of power electronic converters. Thousands of power electronic converters are used at CERN to supply electromagnets with current. A critical requirement is the long lifetime of at least 20 years. A failure of a power electronic converter may have a detrimental impact to the conduction of experiments and the operating cost. A method was proposed to detect the aging due to thermal stressing of the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) that is widely used in new converters’ generations at CERN. This method for the IGBTs’ health evaluation is applied during the converters’ testing phase and during scheduled service stops.




Chalmers University of Technology

  • Torbjörn Thiringer, Professor
  • Massimo Bongiorno, Professor


  • Panagiotis Asimakopoulos, Dr, Power Electronics Engineer at Technology Department
  • Konstantinos Papastergiou, Dr, Power Electronics Engineer at Technology Department
  • Gilles Le Godec, Section Leader of the Medium Power Converters section

Core deliverables

  • A method for the health assessment of IGBT-based power electronic converters.
  • A measuring system for the application of the method.
  • Power converter control strategies for thermal stressing mitigation of the IGBT switches to prolong their lifetime.

Industry involvement

  • ABB semiconductors, Lenzburg, offered uncovered IGBT modules to facilitate thermal measurements.

Total budget

EUR 220 000


Chalmers University of Technology

Procurement codes

Electrical Engineering and magnets

Last edited