Active power cycling

Active power cycling tests are estabilshed in power electronics as the lifetime test method. Their task is to simulate the thermo-mechanical load on the materials of the packaging and interconnection technology during operation by the self-heating of the power semiconductors. The ECPE Guideline AQG 324 describes the test as follows: „The objective of this test is to generate targeted stress situations in a power electronics module under strongly accelerated conditions which lead to signs of wear and degradation on the module“.

To simulate the electrical losses during the application, a constant direct current (heating current) is applied during active load change tests until the component has heated up to the desired temperature. Alternative methods using alternating current are also possible. A study on power cycling results showed, that the direct current method is predominantly used. Each load cycle consists of a heating and a cooling phase. After the heating phase, the current flow is interrupted or the power source is switched off and the DUT cools down again to the temperature of the heat sink. Usually a water cooler or an air cooling is used.


For companies who are new to the subject or want to get more information from their previous tests, we offer a range of training courses.

Our offer includes the following key points:


  • Selection of suitable measuring equipment
  • Different motivations for active power cycling tests
  • Basics of the test procedure: temperature measurement, test strategies, failure criteria, failure mechanisms
  • Measurement system analyses of test equipment
  • Statistical evaluation of the tests
  • Current standardization on active load cycling tests
  • Lifetime modelling with test results
  • Thermal modelling with equivalent circuit networks (Foster-Cauer)

The seminars can take place either in our training centre in Berlin or at your premises. The number of participants should not exceed ten engineers.


We are also happy to guide your employees in the procurement/design of test stations.


Target group: electronics engineers, reliability engineers, quality engineers, project managers

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Do you have further questions about active power cycling? Contact us!