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A Modern Education Power Electronics Laboratory to Enhance Hands-on Active Learning

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovations in Power Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.67.1 - 22.67.12



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Paper Authors


Sanghun Choi Purdue University

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Sanghun Choi received the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), in 2009. He is currently working towards his M.Sc. degree in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University.

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Maryam Saeedifard Purdue University

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Maryam Saeedifard received the Ph.D. degree
in electrical engineering from the University of
Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, in 2008.
From 2007 to 2008, she was a Visiting Research
Associate with the Power Electronic Systems Group,
ABB Corporate Research Center, Dättwil-Baden,
Switzerland. Subsequent to her graduation, she
joined the Center for Applied Power Electronics
in the Department of Electrical and Computer
Engineering at the University of Toronto, as a
Postdoctoral Fellow. Currently, she is an Assistant
Professor at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. Her research interests include power electronics and applications of power electronics in power systems.
Dr. Saeedifard was the recipient of the NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Government of Canada in 2008 and the Richard M. Bass Outstanding Young Power Electronics Engineer award of the IEEE Power Electronics Society in 2010.

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Rohit Shenoy MathWorks

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Rohit Shenoy has been collaborating with university faculty to develop innovations in curricula that prepare students for successful careers. Previously he was marketing manager for MathWorks' Controls products and worked closely with customers in automotive and aerospace industries on modeling, simulation, and control design.

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A Modern Educational Power Electronics Laboratory to Enhance Hands-on Active LearningAbstract – Power electronics is an enabling technology with significant potential toaccommodate the environmentally friendly Renewable Energy Resources (DERs) in the powersystem, as power electronic converters act as the DER interfaces to the grid. The trend towardincreased penetration of DERs into the grid and the acceptance of the “clean, green” energygeneration concept has created a significant demand on incorporating innovative teachingmethodologies in the undergraduate curriculum. The subject area of power electronics ismultidisciplinary spanning a broad variety of subjects including circuits and signals analysis,automatic control, digital control, and electromechanical energy conversion. An effective powerelectronics laboratory in today’s rapidly changing environment of daily technologicalbreakthroughs should make a thread among those subjects by using state-of-the-artsoftware/hardware tools.This paper presents a newly developed educational power electronics laboratory, based on thestate-of-the-art tools, that encompasses both theoretical aspects of power electronicsconverters and their practical applications in renewable energy systems. The primarypurpose of the developed laboratory is to (i) experimentally reinforce the fundamentalconcepts presented in the power electronics course, thus providing a strong bridgebetween theory and application, (ii) provide the students with hands-on active learningexperiences in the design of power electronic circuits in the context of emerging applications, (iii)introduce the state-of-the-art simulation and experimentation tools for hands-on design, test, andprototyping of power electronic converters, by exposing the students to modern, yet simple anduser-friendly, experimental facilities.The developed laboratory, which is built based upon prior theoretical knowledge andbackground of the students in power electronics, combines the sophisticated TexasInstruments (TI)’s hardware tools with the MATLAB/SIMULINK software for to design, test,and rapid prototype of power electronics circuits. This will provide an ideal test bed forteaching/learning power electronic systems and their applications in renewable energy systems.The signature aspect of the laboratory is that it creates threads among courses such assignals and systems, digital signal processing, control theory, power electronics, andembedded systems, and retain the students’ knowledge across multiple disciplines. Thisstrategy goes beyond the “divide and conquer” strategy wherein each subject is relegatedto its own course and then reduced and analyzed. This strategy in conjunction with thevisualization capabilities of the laboratory tools motivates student-oriented discovery andconstitutes a rather remarkable paradigm shift for teaching/learning power electronicscircuits.Fig 1 : Power Electronic Laboratory Setup for Undergraduate Students

Choi, S., & Saeedifard, M., & Shenoy, R. (2011, June), A Modern Education Power Electronics Laboratory to Enhance Hands-on Active Learning Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17349

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