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Power Electronics Experiment 4 EED 306

Experiment: 4 Study of Thyristor Chopper

1. To study the commutation process of a thyristor in a voltage commutated chopper circuit.
2. To study the performance of a thyristor chopper with different loads (Resistive(R), Resistive
and Inductive load(R+L)).
Apparatus or Components:
1. DC Supply (0-30V)
2. Digital Storage Oscilloscope(DSO)
3. Rheostat (300, 2A)
4. Inductor
5. Thyristor Chopper circuit board
Circuit Diagram:
Thyristor Symbol and Pin Diagram (BTW68):
Front View
K A Anode
K- Cathode
G - Gate


Diode Symbol and Pin Diagram (MUR160):

A K A Anode
K - Cathode

Control Circuit:
+ 1 7812 3
0-30 V
1k 4 8
22k 1k
7 3

100F 10F 1N4148 555 . MUR160 GThM

2,6 1N4148
. 1k
0.2F 1
. 1k

Department of Electrical Engineering Shiv Nadar University

Power Electronics Experiment 4 EED 306

Power Circuit:




(Free wheeling Diode)

Thyristor L

Supply GThA A


Principle of Operation:
A chopper circuit allows the input voltage to load in a chopped form. The chopping is done at
high frequency such that in any high frequency cycle when chopper is on, the input is connected
to load and when off, the load voltage becomes zero. Most of the loads respond only to the mean
value of dc voltage (discuss: Why? and what is duty ratio?).
The Power circuit shown above used to be is a popular thyristor based dc to dc buck-chopper.
(Now with advent of devices like IGBTs and MOSFETs which are turned off by gate control,
thyristors are less commonly used for dc to dc conversion). Thyristor, once on, will turn-off only
if current through it falls below the holding current. In ac circuits, the alternating current
naturally passes through zero and hence thyristors turn-off at these zero current instants
naturally. However in dc circuits, often an additional commutation circuit is required for forcing
the turn-off of thyristor. The commutation circuit brings down the current through main thyristor
to zero and facilitates its turn-off. Often an auxiliary thyristor is required to be turned on to start
the commutation process. The auxiliary thyristor current decays to zero because of the circuit
operation (find out, how?) and no additional circuit is required for turn-off of the auxiliary
thyristor. To achieve high frequency chopping, the main and auxiliary thyristors need to be
gated-on alternately at high frequency. The gate signal generation is done by a thyristor

Department of Electrical Engineering Shiv Nadar University

Power Electronics Experiment 4 EED 306

triggering circuit. One such simple triggering circuit, using 555 IC based Astable circuit (shown
above) is used in this setup. [Identify the Astable circuit to achieve variable duty ratio of the
chopper. What is pulse transformer and what is its role here?]
Observe carefully the following:-
Connect about 20 volts dc input supply. The switch in Gate circuit of Main Thyristor should
remain off. Connect a rheostat load of about 150 ohm. LED in the triggering circuit should turn
on. Now switch on the main thyristor gate pulse.
With DSO common ground at the thyristors cathode junction, observe:-
(i) Gate voltage of main and auxiliary thyristors. How the duty ratio changes by changing
the 22K pot in the triggering circuit?
(ii) Observe load voltage and main / auxiliary thyristor voltage (anode to cathode voltage).
(iii) Observe main / auxiliary thyristors gate pulse together with their anode to cathode
Now, put the DSO ground at anode of Main thyristor and simultaneously observe the
commutation circuit capacitor voltage and voltage across main thyristor. Find out the turn-off
time for main thyristor. [How the turn-off time varies with load?]
Repeat above for auxiliary thyristor by keeping DSO ground at anode of auxiliary thyristor.
Add inductor to the load and repeat above observations.
The dual channel DSO/CRO may not have isolated signal input channels. In such cases the
grounds of the probes connected to these channels must not be at different potentials. Also the
input AC mains voltage must be isolated through a transformer.


Department of Electrical Engineering Shiv Nadar University