Power Electronics

Power Controls, Supplies, Drives.

The interactive and animated applets are part of the Introductory Course on Power Electronics taught by Prof. Kolar at the ETH Zurich.

Interactive Power Electronics Seminar

Interactive Power Electronics Seminar

Power Electronics Circuit Simulation

Applets to See – are the simple Buck-converter and the Rotating Three-Dimensional Field
More pages of Compulsory Reading for Students

  • Part I – An Overview of AC/AC-Converter Topologies
  • iPES-Circuits – DC/DC converters, thyristor converter, AC/DC inverter.
  • iPES-Circuits+ – Power electronic systems of higher complexity in industry.
  • iPES-Thermal – Dimensioning and operation of power electronic converters
  • iPES-EMFields – Electrostatic, magnetic fields, permeability, inductor design.
  • iPES-AET – Operational Amplifier – Applications.

Gecko Research

Power Electronics Simulation -Specialized Software to meet demands of Power Electronics Engineers. Gecko-Research is engaged in numerical simulations of circuits, control, 3D-thermal, electromagnetics, reliability issues and system optimization.

I first saw this practically in the Orthodox Cherokee SMPS. This is where we differentiate from Engineered Products and just Mass Production without following standards. The Cherokee SMPS was a work of art, perfect in all respects.

The Copper Desert or Isolation Land

There is a No Man’s Land in PCB. Any good power electronics designer should/will know. Product Safety and HV Isolation, Quality and Reliability all depend on this.

High Energy Circuits

Power Electronics Design Methods

These things don’t come overnight, it is a culture, learning, experience and integrity of some of these American Firms. Reliability and Product safety are important. Every human values his life very much. A manufacturer too should appreciate this.

Coming back to isolation, Keep in mind creepage distance, High energy circuits and Low voltage circuits should have clear isolation, use the best insulation. Fire and shock hazard. Mains HV transitions, spikes.

Regulated High Voltage Power Supply

Power supply faces all these, even other areas where a Human Life or Property can be endangered.

HV High Voltage Reliability and Safety

Use a Servo Stabilizer or CVT Constant Voltage Transformer or at least an Isolation Transformer. The First Defense form HV Surges, Spikes.

High Voltage Polyester & Polypropylene Metallized Capacitors in Stepdown Supplies should be Fire Retardant & Self Healing with a MOV too.

delabs Notes – In a Circuit Module, if all Power and Signal Polarities are reversed. All NPN to PNP, All N-Channel to P-Channel and Vice Versa. All Diodes and Caps too turned around. This Topsy Turvy or Mirror Design ought to work in Theory. It has worked for some circuits in practice too in my experience. ?

Some believe that N-Channel is more Robust than the P Type. In Bipolar Transistor NPN is more trusted for the final output stages. The NPN Transistor and N-Channel turn-on by a Positive control bias. It may be inappropriate to say this mosfet is NPN or PNP.

The MOSFET in Power Electronics

The traditional metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) structure is obtained by growing a layer of silicon dioxide (SiO2) on top of a silicon substrate and depositing a layer of metal or polycrystalline silicon (the latter is commonly used). As the silicon dioxide is a dielectric material, its structure is equivalent to a planar capacitor, with one of the electrodes replaced by a semiconductor.

If the MOSFET is an n-channel or nMOS FET, then the source and drain are “n+” regions and the body is a “p” region. If the MOSFET is a p-channel or pMOS FET, then the source and drain are “p+” regions and the body is a “n” region. The source is so named because it is the source of the charge carriers (electrons for n-channel, holes for p-channel) that flow through the channel; similarly, the drain is where the charge carriers leave the channel. MOSFET – Wikipedia

This application note discusses the breakdown voltage, on-resistance, transconductance, threshold voltage, diode forward voltage, power dissipation, dynamic characteristics, gate charge and dV/dt capability of the power MOSFET.
Application Note AN-1084 Power MOSFET Basics – IRF

A MOSFET is a transistor. It is a Metal Oxide Field Effect Transistor. Here are the symbols for FETs and MOSFETs: The MOSFET How the MOSFET works

The conductivity of the path from Source to drain is controlled by applying a voltage between the gate and the body of the semiconductor. N-channel enhancement MOSFET

See this simple circuit that explains everything
n-channel MOSFET switch – George Watson, Univ. of Delaware, 1996.

This is a Regulated 0-30 V DC Power Supply manufactured by me in small numbers, 0-30V 5A and 5V -5A. It had a Switching Preregulator. This keeps the Vce across Transistor Bank at the Back of Instrument, at the lowest possible level, in order to keep them Cool. When Vce and Ic both are more in a Power transistor it will get heated more, then the efficiency of power supply is low.

Power Supplies Section – delabs

Variable Regulated Power Supply

The Output had both Constant Current Control and Constant Voltage Control. The CC control is also a Short circuit protection. The Output was protected from outside voltages damaging output circuits even when equipment is switched off. The back panel is a finned anodized black aluminum heat sink with many transistors.

Read More →

PowerESIM is a eCAD tool for switching power supplies on the Internet. Web Based Switching Power Supply design and Simulation.

PowerEsim – Online power supply design

The most important characteristic powerEsim is that it provide a virtual laboratory environment for engineer to verify and fine tune their design. Experience engineer use it to optimize their design by saving a lot of time than in real bench.

PowerEsim - Online power supply design

The circuit simulator is a combination of iteration, equation based apporoach and time step integration. The circuit is defined by non-linear equations and the simulator will first solving the switching condition solution for t=infinity by bracketed iteration, then fine step of point by point results will be generated by those equations for V, I and loss analysis.

“In a real laboratory, engineers have the ability to feel the heat, measure the stress, wind real transformers and wait and see how long until the unit gets burned. With our seamless integration of a variety of tools such as thermal, MTBF, Life, DVT, Waveform, etc., users can now do the same things in PowerEsim virtual environment.”

I will just explain part of this circuit. D9 and D10 provide a low cost -1.4 from -5 V. This is needed to reach near 0.00 for LM317 Min. setting. An LED also can be used with proper bias. Note that there is a Temperature Coefficient in ppm,  but it may not matter upto 8 bits accuracy.

TIP2955, TIP3055 (NPN), TIP2955 (PNP) Complementary Silicon Power Transistors. It is a Darlington, that means good current gain. When current in R1 10E goes more than 50mA a voltage of 50mA X 10E = 500mV is applied across Emmiter-Base junction. So lower than 500mV no bias the tap is turned off, 500mV-700mV the tap starts turning on depending on type of transistor.

Power Supplies Section

The transistor is like a water Tap. So TIP2955 carries the major current burden thru the load allowing LM317 to do the decision making when to turn-on or off. It is analog control, it is not On-Off but linear-proportional. The LM317 is very cool as the burden is passed off to TIP2955 who will need a heatsink to keep going and deliver the power you want.

WorkBench Dual Power Supply

Put the filter caps appropriately. The Hum-Noise will be filtered. The cap after the regulator should be a small guy. The main filter cap after the Bridge can be as big as your cabinet or budget.

Mains Voltage Power Transformers

If you build it and wire it without designing a PCB, then make all wiring and connection very sound. The test of this ability you can know easily, If your project stops working after the last screw of the cabinet is tightened, Then we need to improve.

The TL494 incorporates all the functions required in the construction of a pulse-width-modulation (PWM) control circuit on a single chip. Designed primarily for power-supply control, this device offers the flexibility to tailor the power-supply control circuitry to a specific application.

PWM Control Circuit – TL494

  • Complete PWM Power-Control Circuitry
  • Uncommitted Outputs for 200-mA Sink or Source Current
  • Output Control Selects Single-Ended or Push-Pull Operation
  • Internal Circuitry Prohibits Double Pulse at Either Output
  • Variable Dead Time Provides Control Over Total Range
  • Internal Regulator Provides a Stable 5-V Reference Supply With 5% Tolerance
  • Circuit Architecture Allows Easy Synchronization

PWM Control Circuit - TL494

The TL494 contains two error amplifiers, an on-chip adjustable oscillator, a dead-time control (DTC) comparator, a pulse-steering control flip-flop, a 5-V, 5%-precision regulator, and output-control circuits.

TL494 Related Links

SG2525 – SG3525 – PWM SMPS Regulator Chip. A second generation ic switch mode controller optimized for high frequency.

100kHz Half Bridge Convertor – SG3525

The SG3525A pulse width modulator control circuit offers improved performance and lower external parts count when implemented for controlling all types of switching power supplies. The on-chip +5.1 V reference is trimmed to +/-1% and the error amplifier has an input common-mode voltage range that includes the reference voltage, thus eliminating the need for external divider resistors. Half Bridge, Push-Pull.

SG3525 usage in SMPS 500W – It was used in Parallel for Electroplating with a central Load sharing control between modules.

SG2525 - SG3525 - PWM SMPS Regulator Chip


  • 8.0 V to 35 V Operation
  • 5.1 V +/- 1.0% Trimmed Reference
  • 100 Hz to 400 kHz Oscillator Range
  • Separate Oscillator Sync Pin
  • Adjustable Deadtime Control
  • Input Undervoltage Lockout
  • Latching PWM to Prevent Multiple Pulses
  • Pulse-by-Pulse Shutdown
  • Dual Source/Sink Outputs: +/- 400 mA Peak

Circuits –