A Scalable Life Cycle Inventory of an Automotive Power Electronic Inverter Unit
This report is one of three coupled publications. It describes the technical and methodological selections, and the data collection made to develop of a scalable life cycle inventory (LCI) model of an automotive power electronic inverter unit. It follows the same structure and in parts also repeats the background information and description of methodology which was co-developed in a related project covering a scalable LCI model of an automotive electric traction motor (Nordelöf et al., 2016). It is a part of a yearly report series published by the division of Environmental Systems Analysis at Chalmers University of Technology, originally numbered for release during 2016 but finalized and published during 2017.
The report presents theoretical background and data collection procedures of the scalable LCI model and it is intended to be used as a reference book by the model user when detailed information and explanations are sought. For that reason, no summary or abstract was included.
The scalable LCI model covers both design and production data of an inverter unit intended for to control a typical electric vehicle propulsion motor. The resulting LCI model, in the form of a Microsoft Excel Macro-Enabled Worksheet file (Nordelöf, 2017), can be downloaded from the Swedish Life Cycle Center as a part of the SPINE@CPM LCA Database.
Two peer reviewed articles are also published about the LCI model in parallel with this report. The first article, part I [DOI ref], describes how the LCI model was established and the type of results it provides. It includes a description inverter unit design and the LCI data model structure, based on chapters 2 and 4 of this report. Additionally to what is included here, it also contains an evaluation of the mass estimations made by the model through comparison with data for 10 inverter units intended for use in vehicles, based on supplier’s technical information published from 2013 or later.
The second article, part II [DOI ref], presents an overview of new primary production data and how data has been compiled to cover the complete inverter unit manufacturing chain, including the power module fabrication, a factory for assembly of printed circuit boards and automotive power electronic units. More in depth information about these production procedures, and how the data was established, is described in Chapter 5 of this report. Part II of the article series also discusses the selected system boundaries and explains how to link the gate to gate inventory to the Ecoinvent database version 3 (Weidema et al., 2013), based on Chapter 2 of this report.