18-681   Power Electronics

Location: Africa

Units: 12

Semester Offered: Fall

Course discipline


Course concentration

Energy systems

Course description

This course is aimed at developing Power Electronics expertise in master’s level students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for the formation of a power electronics engineer contributing to the formation of a professional engineer. Considerations of static and dynamic characteristics of power semiconductor devices including thermal management including the particular issues pertinent to high voltage applications are followed by the analysis and design of principal types of power converters. Key applications are also considered so that the course provides broad knowledge and skills in the field of power electronics in wide-ranging applications. The assessment is based on assignments and examinations. This course is designed to appeal to MSECE students. However, this course is also suitable for MSIT students who wish to broaden their horizons into power applications. It is worth noting that power electronic applications require engineers who have experience and skills in embedded systems, software engineering, digital control, and signal processing among others.
The broad aim of the course is to prepare the student to perform as a competent power electronic engineer in a broad range of application areas such as residential, industrial, and electric utilities. This broad aim is achieved through the following major objectives:
  • To obtain a complete understanding of the static and dynamic characteristics of commercially available and developing power semiconductor devices and be able to use the devices in a variety of power electronic converters including electrical and thermal design.
  • To develop the knowledge and skills required to analyze and design power electronic converters. This includes analytical, simulation, and experimental skills.
  • To fully understand the effect of the connection of power electronic converters to the electricity supply system and to develop skills to analyze and mitigate power quality issues.
  • To appreciate the requirement of energy storage and learn about energy storage systems.


By the end of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Explain static and dynamic characteristics of power semiconductor devices
  • Use the information provided in datasheets to carry out design calculations
  • Perform thermal design of power semiconductor devices
  • Explain the capabilities and limitations of power semiconductor devices and use them in a variety of power electronic circuits.
  • Analyze and design power electronic converters
  • Analyze waveform distortion arising from power electronic converters and develop mitigation methods
  • Investigate a power electronic system by simulation and experimentation
  • Communicate the findings of an investigation of a power electronic system in written form and orally with multimedia

Content details

  • Static and Dynamic Characteristics of Power Semiconductor Devices
  • Naturally Commutated Power Converters: AC-DC, DC-AC
  • Self-commutated converters: AC-DC, DC-AC, DC-DC, AC
  • Power quality issues associated with the connection of power converters to the electricity Supply Systems
  • Harmonics, Voltage Sag and Swell, Light Flicker
  • Harmonic Filters
  • Energy Storage
  • Applications




Sarath Tennakoon