Review of Fourier Series

Fourier Series

Nearly any periodic function of time , such that , can be written as a sum of sinusoids known as the Fourier Series. where the radian frequency is defined as . This result applies to signals with jump discontinuities which are often encountered in the world of power electronics. While there are few very special periodic functions without Fourier Series […]

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Characteristics of Power Semiconductor Devices

Diode, IGBT, and MOSFET silicon carbide power semiconductors.

Diode – Current ratings from under 1 A to more than 5000 A. Voltage ratings from 10 V to 10 kV or more. The fastest power devices switch in less than 20 nanoseconds, while the slowest require 100 microseconds or more. The function applies in rectifiers and DC-DC circuits. BJT – (Bipolar Junction Transistor) Conducts collector current (in one direction) when […]

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Kirchhoff’s Voltage and Current Laws

Kirchhoff's Voltage Law

Granted, a switch circuit can perform power conversion, and granted, it can be described as a switch matrix. How do we make the choices of switch operation? Consider first the simple circuit shown to the right – something we might try for AC-DC conversion. This circuit has problems. Kirchoff’s Voltage Law (KVL) tells us: The sum of voltage drops around a […]

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Introduction to Switches


We have seen that circuits involving switches and energy storage can be operated to give energy conversion functions. Switches come in a huge variety including mechanical and semiconductor styles. It is important to develop a systematic way to identify appropriate power electronic circuits, and to find out how they can be controlled to give the desired performance. Consider, for example, […]

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Recap of Power Electronics

Electric Power Lines

Power electronics involves the study of electronic circuits intended to control the flow of electrical energy. These circuits handle power flow at levels higher than the individual device ratings. Energy conversion is our business because people use light, mechanical work, information, heat and other tangible results of energy – not electricity itself. In most electronics, devices are limited by their […]

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