The Clemson Vehicular Electronics Laboratory

Using Unintentional Emissions to Anticipate MOSFET and IGBT Failures

motor windings

The fast switching that is an inherent part of efficient motor drives and power inverters produces a characteristic electrical noise that depends on the switching device parameters. Changes in the internal parameters of a MOSFET or IGBT can indicate that the device is degrading and will ultimately fail to switch, resulting in a system failure.

CVEL researchers have demonstrated that it is possible to extract MOSFET and IGBT parameters by monitoring the electromagnetic emissions from the device employing these components. By filtering and processing the measured signals, researchers have been able to detect small changes that may not affect system operation, but indicate that a failure may be imminent. This project is exploring potential applications of this technique for monitoring the health of automotive and aerospace systems.


  1. J. Hayes and T. Hubing, “Monitoring transistor degradation in power inverters through pole shifts,” accepted for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Dec. 2014.
  2. J. H. Hayes and T. Hubing, “Effects of the Lower Body Diode on the Ringing Characteristics of a Power Inverter,” CVEL-13-046, Aug. 14, 2013.
  3. J. H. Hayes and T. Hubing, “Preliminary Investigation of the Current Path and Circuit Parameters Associated with the Characteristic Ringing in a MOSFET Power Inverter,” CVEL-13-041, Jan. 16, 2013.