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Unit information: Power Electronic Systems in 2020/21

Unit name Power Electronic Systems
Unit code EENGM7011
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Stark
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This is a unit on power electronics, that is built up from short bursts of theory followed by longer in-class activities involving pen-and-paper analysis and hands-on simulation. These activities put previous learning (devices, electronics, control, power systems) into context, bring in new concepts, and clarify the different levels of abstraction used in power electronic design. The course is application oriented, using renewable energy generation, grid-tie inverters, and electric vehicles as prime examples. The course activities are chosen to help students assign design tasks to the right level of abstraction, and use suitable analysis methods and simulation tools for each level.

The subject matter includes power semiconductor device operation, and the breaking down of complex 3-phase inverters into more manageable fundamental converter topologies. Students derive their operating signals, and study their integration into larger systems. Power quality, network stability, influence of parasitics and layout, and energy efficiency are topics throughout.

Intended learning outcomes

Having completed this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Recommend various levels of abstraction for the design process, from analysing simple circuits with real switching, through more complex topologies where switches are considered ideal, to system integration, where converters are considered ideal (non-switching);
  2. Estimate storage and passive component values in converters and power management systems;
  3. Analyse switching circuits that are based on 3 fundamental power electronic building blocks, and derive quantitative waveforms;
  4. Select switching devices and circuits based on minimal application data;
  5. Compute certain aspects of output voltage spectra for power electronic circuits, and debate the benefits of various topologies and switching methods in terms of output harmonics;
  6. Determine circuit waveforms in 3-phase inverters as a function of various load and fault conditions;
  7. Analyse grid-tied systems using phasor diagrams;
  8. Compute control parameters as a function of network power requirements (active and reactive), and analyse control requirements;
  9. Select and critically debate system integration topologies for different applications, and contrast these power electronic circuits by their operation and control requirements;
  10. Design complex converters and analyse their operation through simulation using Matlab and Simulink.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

Formative: Online Test 1

Summative: Timed Assessment (Jan) (100%)

Reading and References

Mohan, N., Undeland, T., & Robbins, W., Power Electronics: Converters, Application and Design, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN:0471226939