Power Loss Analysis in Power Converters

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3 Credits


Learning Objectives

The students will learn about power loss characterization in power converters, in particular of switching power devices. Power switches are employed to achieve high frequency, high-density electrical power conversion for multiple applications from renewable energy to consumer electronics. The main loss mechanisms will be studied and include conduction losses, switching losses, and reverse recovery losses, which affect the overall performance of power conversion systems. Silicon (Si) power MOSFETs have dominated the power conversion industry for many years due to their cost effectiveness and they are approaching their physical limit of performance. Recent disruptive technologies namely, Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices have the potential to replace Si and will be studied as part of this course. The objective is to study and characterize different type of power losses in Si, SiC and GaN power switches and estimate the overall performance of power conversion under realistic operating conditions. Modelling, simulation, and benchmarking will be performed as part of this course to evaluate the accuracy under various testing conditions. The course will cover techniques used in the past decade, including cutting-edge 2016/17 improvements, to identify differences, issues, and future research opportunities.

Course Structure
  • 2 hour of lectures, discussion, and presentations per week.

  • Assigned reading.

  • Evaluation is based on student presentations (total of 6), 12 weekly summaries, and a final report, as well as the depth of understanding conveyed in the discussions and questions.

Course Topics
  1. Background: Fundamentals of Si, SiC and GaN switching power transistors.

  2. Theoretical methods to calculate conduction, switching, and reverse recovery losses.

  3. Techniques to model loss behavior of Si, SiC and GaN devices. 


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