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Introduction to

Power Electronics

Power Electronics - Definition

It is the technology associated with the efficient conversion,
control and conditioning of electric power by static means from its
available form into the another electrical output form to perform
various desired functions.
Use of semiconductor devices as switches for power conversion from
one type of electrical source to another.
Use of solid-state electronics for efficient control of the amount of power
and energy flow.
Application of control techniques in order to obtain the desired input
and output requirements.
Thus, Power Electronics combine Power, Electronics and Control.

Power Electronics involves the

applications of solid-state electronics
for the control and conversion of
electric power

Power Electronics
System Area
Modeling &

System &
Control theory

High Power Area

Low Power Area

Analog Electronics

Circuit Theory

Signal Processing

Electric machines


Solid-State Physics

Power Systems

Digital Electronics


Applications that span the whole field of electrical power
systems with power range extending from a few watts to
several megawatts.

Industrial Drives and Systems
Distributed Generation (Storage)
Transmission and distribution (FACTS)
Power Quality Improvement (DVR, STATCOM)
Computer systems
Communication Systems
Consumer Electronics etc.

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Motor Drive System

Traction Converter System

Power Electronics Evolution

Power Electronics Device (High Power)

Advantages of PE converters
High due to low power loss in PS Devices.
High reliability of power-electronic converter systems.
Long life and less maintenance due to the absence of any
moving parts.
Fast dynamic response of the PE systems as compared to
electromechanical converter systems.
Small size and less weight result in less floor space and
therefore lower installation cost.
Mass production of PS devices has resulted in lower cost of
the converter equipment.

Disadvantages of PE converters
PE converter circuits have a tending to generate harmonics in the
supply systems as well as in the load circuit.

In the load circuit, a high Harmonics content causes commutation

problems in DC machines, increased motor heating and more
acoustical noise in both AC & DC machines.

In the supply system, the Harmonics distort the voltage waveform

and seriously influence the performance of other equipment
connected to the same supply line.

In addition they cause interference in audio & video equipment.

It is therefore necessary to insent filling the I/P & O/P of a


Disadvantages of PE converters
AC to DC and AC to AC converter operate at a low Input
Power Factor under certain operating conditions.
Power electronic controllers have low overload capacity.
These Converters must therefore be rated for taking
momentary overloads.
Cost of PE Controller may increase.
Regeneration of power is difficult in Power electronics
converter systems.

Classification of PS Devices
Based on
i) Turn on and turn- off characteristics
ii) Gate signal requirements
iii) Degree of controllability
a) Diodes
These are uncontrolled rectifying devices
Their ON and OFF states are controlled by power supply.
b) Thyristors
These have controlled turn ON by a gate signal .
After thyristors are on, they remain latched in on state due to
internal regenerative action and gate loses control.
These can be turned off by the power circuit.
c) Controllable switches.
These devices are turned ON and turned OFF by the application
of control signals.

Types of Power Electronic Converters

Types of Power Electronic Converters

1) Diode Rectifiers (1- AC or 3- AC to fixed DC)

These find wide use in electric traction, battery charging, electroplating,

electrochemical processing power suppler, welding and UPS systems.

2) Phase controlled rectifiers (1- AC or 3- AC to variable DC)

These rectifier use line voltage for their commutation, as such these
are also called line commutated or naturally commutated AC to DC
These are used in DC drives, metallurgical and chemical industries,
excitation system for synchronous machines etc.

3) DC choppers ( Fixed DC input voltage to controllable DC output voltage)

They require forced or load commutation to turn off the thyristors.

These find applications in DC drives, subway cars, trolley truckers,
battery drives vehicles etc.

Types of Power Electronic Converters


Inverters ( Fixed DC input voltage to a variable AC output voltage)


The output may be a variable voltage and variable frequency.

These converter use line, load or forced commutation for turning off the thyristors.
These converters find under use in induction motor & synchronous motor drives, induction heating thyristors are also etc., being replaced by GTOs in high power
applications & by power transistor in low power applications.

AC to AC converters ( Fixed AC I/P voltage into variable AC Output voltage)

a) AC voltage controllers or regulators.
These converter circuits convert fixed AC voltage directly to a variable AC voltage at the same frequency.
They are widely used for lighting control, speed control of fans etc.

b) Cyclo converters
) These circuits converter I/P power at are frequency to O/P Power at a different frequency through one stage conversion.
) These are primarily used for slow- speed large AC drives like rotary Kiln etc.

Advances & Trends in Devices

Power Electronics Evolution essentially follows power

semiconductor device and computing element evolution.

High power IGBT and IGCT will replace GTO in near


Mos-Gated devices with monolithic control and protection

are device of the future.

Phase control device based power modulator may not find

application in future due to low power quality associated
with these circuits.

Silicon carbide based power devices will revolutionize

power electronics

Power Semiconductor Devices

Gate turn off Thyristor (GTO)
Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT)
Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT)
MOS-controlled Thyristor (MCT)
MOS Turn-off Thyristor (MTO)
Intelligent Power Modules (IPM)
Integrated Gate commutated Thyristor (IGCT)
Emitter Turn-off Thyristor