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Anne Castelan has defended her thesis on Optimization of power converters

On friday, December 22th 2017, Anne Castelan has defended her thesis. Awarded by University of Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier, her work was supervised by both LAPLACE laboratory (CNRS/INP-ENSEEIHT/UPS), the GEET doctoral school and IRT Saint Exupéry.

The high quality and the relevance of Anne’s thesis contributed to get significant results as a part of INTEGRATION project.

Thesis Subject

« Modelling of heat sink devices. Application to optomization of power converters »

About this thesis

The replacement of hydraulic and pneumatic network embedded in aircraft by electrical network will increase the number of embedded systems to ensure the effective functioning of the aircraft. The development of an electrical aircraft will allow the reduction of production and functioning costs. It will also help ensure a better reliability of systems and will reduce the ecological impact of the aircraft circulation.

This kind of plane would be lighter than a usual one. To be sure of this, it is necessary to reduce weight of embedded equipment’s dedicated to management, conversion and distribution of electrical energy.

The sizing and the optimization of embedded equipment’s weight is a critical issue in the development of more electrical aircraft. This weight is mostly defined by heat transfer systems, when we consider the sizing of energy conversion system

A lot of heat transfer system exists and are dedicated to the cooling of power converters. We selected two of these heat transfer system, in order to produce models of them. These models will be used in optimization routines.

Plate fin heat sink in forced convection, and system assembly, combining heat pipe and plate fin heat sink, will be modelled during this thesis. Analytical models of these heat transfer systems will be developed, to optimize their weight and ensure a good cooling of electrical systems.

Even if lots of dimensioning and optimization methods exists, dedicated to heat transfer systems, we choose to use analytical modelling.

This kind of models gives an exact solution to the heat equation, to describe simple geometric and thermic configurations. Selected heat transfer systems can be simply described.

The main advantage of these models is that it represents the thermal behavior of the system as a function of its geometrical parameters, materials and environmental conditions. Execution of these models is very fast and gives a precise solution of the thermal parameters of the described configuration.

There is then a real interest to use this type of models to optimize weight of heat transfer systems, and then power converter.


  • M. Thierry MEYNARD – LAPLACE Laboratory – PhD Advisor
  • M. Sébastien DUTOUR – LAPLACE Laboratory – Co-Supervisor
  • M. Bernardo COUGO – IRT Saint Exupéry/Zodiac – Co-Supervisor
  • M. Yvan AVENAS – G2ELAB Laboratory – Rapporteur
  • M. Bruno ALLARD – AMPERE Laboratory – Rapporteur
  • Mme Mounira BERKANI – SATIE Laboratory – Examiner
  • M. Richard FOURNIER – LAPLACE Laboratory – Examiner


Optimizing the electro-mechanical chain, from converter to cable and motor.

Related Publications & Conference Communications

A. Castelan, B. Cougo, J. Brandelero, D. Flumian, T. Meynard :  “Optimization of forced-air cooling system for accurate design of power converters”. ISIE 2015 (24th IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronics), Jun 2015, Buzios, Brazil. IEEE, ISIE 2015 (24th IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronics), pp.367 – 372, 2015, 2015 IEEE 24th International Symposium on Industrial Electronics (ISIE).

A. Castelan, B. Cougo, S. Dutour, T. Meynard : “3D Analytical modelling of heat sink heat distribution for fast optimisation of power converters”. Electrimacs 2017, 4th-6th july 2017, Toulouse, France.