The Institute of Energy Research (iFE) is an interdepartmental association of seven professors at the Technische Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe on the Lemgo campus. This bundling of competencies makes it possible to respond appropriately to the extensive and complex topic of energy research and to ensure the environmentally conscious use of technologies and know-how. Among other things, model-based optimization, construction technology and construction and microclimate in buildings and their surroundings, energy networks and converters, energy-optimized production processes, energy conversion and storage, coupling of energy and material flows, as well as energy management of buildings and quarters are covered.
The Power Electronics and Electrical Drives group of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Borcherding has been engaged in research on power electronics and controlled drives in industrial environments for many years. With more than 40 German industrial and research partners, about 20 cooperative and joint research projects have been carried out in the last 15 years.
Even before the institute was founded, Holger Borcherding’s Laboratory for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives conducted research in the field of MIDs together with the co-inventor of LDS technology, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Horst Wißbrock (Laboratory for Laser and Microtechnology – Department of Production and Wood Technology) at TH-OWL. In 2014, the three-year joint project itsowl-HERA (highly integrated electronic motor with rotating drive electronics FKZ: 02PQ2401) of the top cluster it’s OWL – Intelligente Technische Systeme Ostwestfalen-Lippe started from this cooperation. Together with the research partner Lenze SE, novel methods for the application of LDS technology were researched. The result was a polymer-coated circuit carrier based on a metal substrate (CMID – Coated Metal Interconnect Device). This made it possible to combine the laser direct structuring of conductor paths of conventional MIDs with the thermal properties of the metal substrate, thus enabling optimized heat dissipation, especially for lossy power electronics and drive technology.
Since the middle of 2019, the working group of Professor Borcherding of the institute has been researching together with Prof. Dr.-Ing. André Springer (Laboratory for Laser Technology and Additive Manufacturing – Department of Production and Wood Technology) of TH-OWL to further develop the coated circuit carriers. The project FHprofUnt 3D-MC²B (3D-Metalcore-LDS-Circuit-Board: 3D printed circuit board design by means of polymer coatings of metal substrates and laser direct structuring for compact power electronic applications – FKZ: 13FH160PX8) takes up the objective of itsowl-HERA and transfers it into the third dimension. The substrate is no longer a flat metal plate but the metal housing itself. With this premise, compact, space-saving, highly integrated 3D electronics with optimized thermal management are to be developed and tested, and the industrialization of the entire process chain is to be demonstrated. To this end, the Institute of Energy Research is supported by two strong industrial partners from the drive and automation technology sector in East Westphalia-Lippe, namely the companies Lenze and Weidmüller.
The 3D-MC²B project will not remain the only field of 3D-CMID, but rather opens a door to a large field of research, which can be an important pillar in the course of the advancing miniaturization.
To this end, in the fourth quarter of 2020, the electronics and prototype production of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering as well as the laser laboratory of the Department of Production and Wood Technology will be expanded by several devices for the further development of 3D circuit carriers.