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UNIT 1: Principles of Power Electronics

1.1 Introduction:
We require power conversion schemes to realize different types of desired sources from the
sources that are available at hand. For example, one may have DC source (a battery), but
requires an AC supply to feed his AC motor. For this, a DC to AC converter will be required
(also commonly known as inverter). So, the battery is the available source and the required
motor input is the realized AC source. Similarly, one may want to have a controllable AC
input for the motor so as to run it for different loads and at different speeds. For that we will
require a controlled converter. This study of conversion schemes is covered under the heading
of Power Converters.

In order to achieve these conversion schemes, power electronic switches are required. These
switches are made of semiconductors elements and allow us to form the waveforms
required by the load from the sources available. Ideally, (i) these switches must not be
having any voltage drop across them when they are conducting, and, (ii) must be able to
block full voltage when they are in off state. However, these idealities are not available
practically, and there are always certain deviations.

In this chapter when we are considering the conversion schemes, we will be considering the
ideal switches. And while discussing the switching devices, we will discuss some constraints
that will allow us to understand the non-idealities.

It is always desirable that the switches must be able to handle large amount of power and on
the same time must have the capability of switching at a high frequency. But in practical
conditions, this is not possible. The low-switching frequency devices come under the family
of thyristors. Various thyristors are Silicon Controlled Rectifiers (SCRs), DIACS, TRIACS,
GTOs, etc. High-frequency switching devices are (Bipolar Junction Transistors) BJTs, IGBTs,
MOSFETs, etc. Conventionally, low-switching frequency devices are used for high power
applications while for medium and low power applications high-frequency devices are
employed. In this unit we will be concentrating on the devices that operate on low
frequencies, i.e. the thyristors. High frequency devices are out of the scope of this course.

So, this unit gives a basic introduction to the power electronic conversion and it can be
divided into two parts:

1. Power Converters

2. Power Switching devices (sometimes also referred as devices only)

First of all let us discuss the applications, advantages and disadvantages of power
electronic conversion.
Applications of Power Electronics

Advantages of Power Electronics:

i. High Efficiency, as the losses are due to switching and conduction of the
semiconductor device. This accounts for very low losses, if compared with the losses
that incur in other schemes.
ii. Smaller in size and weight which results in less requirement of floor space for
installation.
iii. High reliability. The devices are installed after fine calculations of desired voltage,
current and power ratings, and as safety limits are always taken care of, there is a
very small chance of failure of the devices.
iv. Less maintenance is required as there are no moving parts.
v. The dynamic response of these converters is very fast when compared to
electromechanical conversion schemes.
vi. Mass production of power-semiconductor devices has resulted in lower cost of the
converters.

Disadvantages can be listed as follows:

i. Power electronic circuits generate harmonics that affect the loads as well as the
supply. This is the major disadvantage.
ii. There are other disadvantages also, but can be taken care of. For example, if a
converter is designed to run a motor of 1 kW, the switches has to be accordingly
chosen. But what if we need to run the motor for certain overload condition (say 1.5
kW) for a small duration of time? The same converter will not work. This
disadvantage can be taken care of by per-assuming the overload condition and
designing the converter accordingly.
1.2 Power Electronic Conversion
The power electronic conversion can be classified as follows:

i. AC – DC Conversion (Rectifiers)
ii. DC – AC Conversion (Inverters)
iii. DC – DC Conversion (Choppers)
iv. AC – AC Conversion (Voltage Regulators (used in fans), Frequency changers
(cycloconverters or matrix converters))

As discussed in the introduction we will consider only the switch in its ideal form. AC-AC
conversion is out of the scope of this syllabus and will not be discussed.

1.2.1 AC – DC Conversion (Rectification)

Fig. 1. Schematic of a AC – DC Conversion

Fig. 1 shows the schematic of AC – DC conversion. We will be discussing following types of


single-phase AC to DC converters:

i. Uncontrolled Rectifiers
a. Half Wave Rectifier
b. Full Wave Rectifier
i. Mid-point configuration
ii. Bridge configuration
ii. Controlled Rectifiers
a. Half Wave Rectifier
b. Full Wave Rectifier
i. Mid-point configuration
ii. Bridge configuration
 One must be able to do the analysis of the above circuits for R and RL loads.
 One must be able to derive average output voltage, average output current and rms
value of output voltage.
1.2.1.1 Half Wave Uncontrolled Rectifier

i. With R – Load
This is the simplest of the rectifiers, and is almost obsolete. It is although studied as it is
helpful in understanding of other structures.

Operation:

The circuit diagram of Fig 2 (a) shows the circuit. A diode is connected between the ac
supply and the load. In positive half cycle, the diode is conducting as it is in the forward bias
condition. All of the source voltage comes across the load. In the negative half cycle, the
diode is in reverse bias condition, and hence the current seize to exist in the circuit, and
there is no voltage across the load. All the voltage comes across the diode in this mode.

Fig. 2 (a) Circuit diagram of half-wave uncontrolled rectifier, (b) Source voltage, (c)
Output Voltage and output current, and, (d) Voltage across the diode.

So, Fig. 2 (c) shows that whenever the diode is forward biased, the current flows in the
circuit (gray line), and hence the voltage drop comes across the load (blue line). In the
reverse bias condition of the load, the output current is zero and supply voltage comes
across the diode (Fig. 2 (d)). The maximum voltage that the diode can handle in the reverse
bias mode must be at least equal to -Vm.

Find out yourself:

Average value of output voltage

Average value of output current

rms value of output voltage

ii. With RL – Load

The circuit description is the same as above.


𝑣 = 𝑉 sin 𝜔𝑡

But due to the presence of the inductor in the circuit, the current io will flow even after the
source voltage has moved into its negative polarity. The energy stored in the inductor
dissipates through the resistance, and so the current will continue to flow until all the energy
in the inductor is drained out. This also keep the diode in forward bias. Let us consider that
the current flows till angle β (Fig. 3(c)). So the output voltage will be available across the
load (RL load) for this duration only. In rest of the period the diode will become reverse
biased and the source voltage will come across the diode. The voltage across the load can be
divided into the voltage across the resistor and inductor. The voltage across the resistor is
easy to plot as it will follow the wave shape of circuit current as shown in Fig. 3(d).

Fig. 3 (a) Circuit diagram of half-wave uncontrolled rectifier with RL load, (b) Source
voltage, (c) Current in the circuit, (d) Output Voltage, voltage across resistor and inductor,
and, (e) Voltage across the diode.

The difference between vs and vR will give vL. The voltage across the load will be from 0 to β.

Derive yourself: Average output voltage and

average circuit current,

rms value of output voltage.


1.2.1.2 Full Wave Uncontrolled Mid-Point Rectifier

With RL – Load

The advantage of this circuit is that it uses only two diodes. The circuit and its associated
waveforms are shown in fig. 4.

Fig. 4 (a) Circuit diagram of half-wave uncontrolled rectifier with RL load, (b)Condition
of circuit in positive cycle of source voltage, (c)Condition of circuit in negative cycle of
source voltage, (d) Source voltage, (e) Current in the load, (f) Output Voltage (g) Voltage
across the diode D1 and (h) Voltage across the diode D2.
--Write the theory yourself as discussed in the class.

--Also derive the value of average output voltage, average output current, and , output rms
output voltage.

1.2.1.3 Half Wave Uncontrolled Bridge Rectifier

Fig. 5 (a) Circuit diagram of half-wave uncontrolled rectifier with RL load, (b)Condition
of circuit in positive cycle of source voltage, (c)Condition of circuit in negative cycle of
source voltage, (d) Source voltage, (e) Current in the load, (f) Output Voltage (g) Input
current, (h) Voltage across the diode D1 and (i) Voltage across the diode D2.

--Write the theory yourself as discussed in the class. Write the advantages over the midpoint
converter.

--Also derive the value of average output voltage, average output current, and , output rms
output voltage.

1.2.1.4 Half Wave Controlled Rectifier

With R Load

Fig. 6 (a) Circuit diagram of half-wave uncontrolled rectifier, (b) Source voltage, (c)
Output Voltage and output current, and, (d) Voltage across the SCR.

The conduction in this converter starts at angle 𝛼. And therefore the voltage across the load
will be available from 𝛼 to 𝜋. For the remaining time period, the source voltage will come
across the thyristor when it is turned off.

Find out yourself:

Average value of output voltage

Average value of output current

rms value of output voltage

With RL-Load
Fig. 7 (a) Circuit diagram of half-wave uncontrolled rectifier with RL load, (b) Source
voltage, (c) Current in the circuit, (d) Output Voltage, voltage across resistor and inductor,
and, (e) Voltage across the thyristor.

Find out yourself:

Average value of output voltage

Average value of output current

rms value of output voltage

1.2.1.5 Full Wave Controlled Mid-Point Rectifier

Write the theory as discussed in the class.


Fig. 8 (a) Circuit diagram of half-wave uncontrolled rectifier with RL load, (b)Condition
of circuit in positive cycle of source voltage, (c)Condition of circuit in negative cycle of
source voltage, (d) Source voltage, (e) Current in the load, (f) Output Voltage (g) Voltage
across the thyristor T1 and (h) Voltage across the thyristor T2.

Find out yourself: Average value of output voltage

Average value of output current

rms value of output voltage


1.2.1.6 Half Wave Controlled Bridge Rectifier

vS(t)

Vm
io(t)
T1 T3 0 π ωt
2π 3π 4π
iin(t)

+ (d)
io(t)

ωt
T4 T2
(e)
(a) vo(t)
Vm

ωt
io(t)
T1 T3
iin(t) α
(f)
+
iin(t)

ωt
T4 T2

(g)
(b)
vT1(t)
vT2(t)

io(t)
T1 T3
ωt

-Vm
(h)
+
vT3(t)
iin(t) vT4(t)
T4 T2

ωt

(c) -Vm

(i)

Fig. 9 (a) Circuit diagram of half-wave uncontrolled rectifier with RL load, (b)Condition
of circuit in positive cycle of source voltage, (c) Condition of circuit in negative cycle of
source voltage, (d) Source voltage, (e) Current in the load, (f) Output Voltage (g) Input
current, (h) Voltage across the diode T1 and T2, and, (i) Voltage across the diode T3 and T4.
Write the theory as discussed in the class and Find out yourself:

Average value of output voltage

Average value of output current

rms value of output voltage

1.2.2 DC – AC Conversion (Inversion)

Fig. 10 . Schematic of a DC – AC Conversion

1.2.2.1 Single-Phase Inverter

In this section, we are concerned to obtain the AC voltages across the load. The current wave
shapes are thus not discussed.

In DC – AC conversion a period of 0 – 2pi will correspond to 0.02 seconds if the output


needed is of 50 Hz.

Write the operation of this single phase inverter. Derive the rms value of the output voltage.
Vs/2

RL
Load
Vs/2 Ig1(t)

(a)
0 π ωt
2π 3π 4π

Vs/2 (d)
io(t) Ig2(t)
-
+

RL
ωt
Load
Vs/2
(e)
vo(t)
(b) Vs/2

ωt
Vs/2
RL
Load -Vs/2
- (f)
+

io(t)
Vs/2

(c)

Fig. 11. (a) Circuit diagram of a 1-phase half bridge inverter, (b) mode 1 of operation, (c)
mode b of operation, and, (d) waveforms.
Fig. 12. (a) Circuit diagram of a 1-phase full bridge inverter, (b) mode 1 of operation, (c)
mode b of operation, and, (d) waveforms.

1.2.3 DC – DC Conversion (Chopping)

Fig. 13. Schematic of a DC – DC Conversion

1.2.3.1 Step Down Chopper (Buck Converter)

Write brief operation of the step down chopper

Derive the average output voltage in terms of Ton.


Fig. 14. (a) Basic structure of buck converter, (b) Actual structure of basic buck converter,
(c) Output voltage waveform, and, (d) output current waveform.

1.3 Power Electronic Devices