This paper reports the design, characterization and implementation of a fiber Bragg grating (FBG)-based temperature sensor for an insulted-gate Bipolar transistor (IGBT) in a solar panel inverter. The FBG is bonded to the higher coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) side of a bimetallic strip to increase its sensitivity. Characterization results show a linear relationship between increasing temperature and the wavelength shift. It is found that the sensitivity of the sensor can be categorized into three characterization temperature regions between 26 °C and 90 °C. The region from 41 °C to 90 °C shows the highest sensitivity, with a value of 14 pm/°C. A new empirical model that considers both temperature and strain effects has been developed for the sensor. Finally, the FBG-bimetal temperature sensor is placed in a solar panel inverter and results confirm that it can be used for real-time monitoring of the IGBT temperature.
Keywords: Fiber Bragg Grating; bimetal strip; solar panel inverter; temperature sensor.