Note: This unit is an archived version! See Overview tab for delivered versions.

ELEC5733: Foundations of Power Electronics & Apps (2014 - Semester 1)

Download UoS Outline

Unit: ELEC5733: Foundations of Power Electronics & Apps (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Lu, Dylan
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit of study aims to teach the fundamentals of advanced energy conversion systems based on power electronics. It provides description of the operation principles and control of these blocks. Through analysis and design methodologies, it delivers an in depth understanding of modern enabling technologies associated with energy conversion. Through laboratory hands-on experience on actual industrial systems, such electrical motor drives, robotic arms, and power supplies, it enhances the link between the theory and the “real” engineering world. The unit clarifies unambiguously the role these imperative technologies play in every human activity; from mobile telephone chargers to energy electricity grids; from electric vehicles and industrial automation to wind energy conversion to name just few.

The following topics are covered:

Introduction to power electronic converters and systems; applications of power electronic converters; power semiconductor devices; uncontrolled rectifiers: single- and three-phase; non-isolated dc-dc converters: buck, boost and buck-boost; isolated dc-dc converters; inverters: single- and three-phase; uninterruptible power supplies; battery chargers and renewable energy systems; electric and hybrid electric vehicles technologies, design of converters and systems.
Assumed Knowledge: • Differential equations, linear algebra, complex variables, analysis of linear circuits. • Fourier theory applied to periodic and non-periodic signals. • Software such as MATLAB to perform signal analysis and filter design. • Familiarity with the use of basic laboratory equipment such as oscilloscope, function generator, power supply, etc.
Lecturer/s: Dr Lu, Dylan
Timetable: ELEC5733 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Laboratory 3.00 1 10
3 Tutorial 2.00 1 10
4 Project Work - own time 2.00 1 10
5 Independent Study 3.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Laboratory: 5 sessions of 3-hr laboratory on modern power electronic systems including motor control, power supply and applications.

Tutorial: 6 sessions of 2-hr tutorial covering fundamentals and design issues developing student engineering practical skills, computer verification steps for design and equally important analytical and problem solving skills.

Project Work - own time: Project work on design problems

Independent Study: Study at home lecture and tutorial material

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
The project and assignments will develop design skills at system level and are application oriented. Design (Level 3)
Design of power electronic converters as rectifiers, dc-dc and dc-ac ones. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
Application of Fourier theory and frequency domain design of second order filtering Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
The students are encouraged to source design data from the published technical literature to solve the various design challenges. Information Seeking (Level 2)
The tutorials and projects/assignments require the development of design skills and will enhance analytical and problem solving skills, design methodologies and the report/document will cultivate engineering technical and communication skills. Communication (Level 2)
The students are encouraged to address a number of energy related problems in the context of ethical, social and professional obligations and propose their own solutions. Professional Conduct (Level 3)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design (Level 3)
1. Ability to model and design switching power supplies using semiconductors by select the right components, circuits, Ics and modelling software.
2. Capacity to design diode rectification units in single-phase and three-phase versions using techniques and principles presented in the course.
3. Aptitude in simulation and design of single-phase and three-phase inverter circuits and a filter to achieve a specific total harmonic distortion at the output of the converter.
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
4. Ability to analyse power electronic systems and their various components such as: hardware circuit, control circuit, heat sinks, and use data-sheets of power semiconductors and related integrated circuits for advanced control.
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
5. Ability to demonstrate an understanding of concepts in power electronic conversion systems for dc-dc power conversion, using continuous and discontinuous operation.
Information Seeking (Level 2)
6. Read contemporary articles to understand the current issues the power electronics industry faces, source design data and solutions from various online sources.
7. Demonstrable ability to draw information from diverse sources on the impact of power electronic systems on society's development and synthesise the positive effect on the environment through the follow-on conditioning of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydrogen-fuel cells.
Communication (Level 2)
8. Ability to communicate specific design project material through proper engineering reports.
Professional Conduct (Level 3)
9. Ability to undertake knowledge developments by drawing on many and varied information sources specific to the electronics industry for new designs and solutions to problems.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Lab Report Yes 12.00 Multiple Weeks 3, 4, 6, 9,
2 Project Yes 15.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9,
3 Participation Yes 5.00 Multiple Weeks 4, 5, 6,
4 Assignment No 3.00 Mid-Semester Break 1, 3, 5, 7,
5 Mid-Sem Exam No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 4, 5, 7,
6 Final Exam No 55.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 4, 5, 7,
Assessment Description: Lab Report: Laboratory experiments using state-of-the-art power electronic systems of commercial complexity.

Project: Hardware prototype design of dc-dc converter in a typical power supply, and other practical systems and applications.

Assignments: report writing on recent research and development of power electronics systems.

Mid-semester exam: To monitor students` progress and provide feedback to students through mid-semester assessment

Final Exam: Final Exam.

Participation: To encourage students to actively participate in discussions during tutorial sessions.

Note: MPE students in this parallel taught unit will have different assessments from BE students through extra tasks in projects/assignments and separate exam questions/papers.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
  • Introduction to Modern Power Electronics
  • Modern DC-to-DC Switchmode Power Converter Circuits
  • Practical Design of Power Supplies
  • Solid-State Power Conversion Handbook

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Power electronics systems and applications: a system top-down approach, evolution of power electronic systems, advancement of power semiconductors, system integration of technologies.
Week 2 Power semiconductors, characteristics and requirements for design, swithing characteristics, turn-on and turn-off waveforms of inductive switching, diode, Schottky diode, diode reverse recovery, fast recovery diode, ultra-fast recovery diode, thyristor, BJT, MOSFET, IGBT, IGCT and others modern power devices, switching frequency and power capability of semiconductor devices, selection criteria for power electronic systems, safe operating area, drive and snubber circuits.
Week 3 Basic rectifier concepts, single-phase diode rectification, harmonics, total harmonic distortion, voltage doubler, power factor and neutral currents in three-phase four-wire systems.
Week 4 Three-phase diode rectifier, inrush current and overvoltages during turn-on.
Week 5 Phase-controlled rectification and four quadrant pulse-width modulated rectifiers, the matrix converter as AC-AC conversion system.
Week 6 Active power factor correction, harmonic and industrial standards, utility effect of rectifiers, source of current harmonics, improved single-phase and three-phase utility interfaces.
Week 7 DC-DC switching power converters, buck (step-down) boost (step-up), buck-boost (step-up/down), full bridge, pulse-width modulation and duty cycle control of DC-DC converters, average current, peak current control.
Week 8 Linear power supplies, switching power supplies, isolated converter topologies, control of switching mode power supplies, power supply protection, design to specifications.
Week 9 Single-phase inverters, pulse-width modulation, unipolar PWM, bipolar PWM.
Week 10 Three-phase inverters, sinusoidal PWM, space vector PWM, blanking time and its effect on inverter output voltage, operation as a rectifier.
Week 11 Motor control and applications, variable frequency variable voltage PWM-VSI drives, fundamentals of motor speed control for AC and DC motors.
Week 12 Energy systems and power electronics, electric and hybrid electric cars, renewable energy systems, wind farms, solar plants, maximum power point tracking for solar inverters.
Week 13 Overview and revision.
Mid-Semester Break Assessment Due: Assignment
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Power) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Master of Professional Engineering (Electrical) 2013, 2014

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 3) Yes 35%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3) Yes 19.9%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) Yes 15.4%
Information Seeking (Level 2) Yes 22.95%
Communication (Level 2) Yes 2.25%
Professional Conduct (Level 3) Yes 4.5%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.