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An Active Power Factor Correction Laboratory Experiment for Power Electronics Course

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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

22.160.1 - 22.160.8

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Paper Authors


Dale S.L. Dolan California Polytechnic State University

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Dale S.L. Dolan is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Cal Poly with experience in renewable energy projects, education, power electronics and advanced motor drives. He received his B.Sc. in Zoology in 1995 and B.Ed. in 1997 from the University of Western Ontario. He received the B.A.S.c in Electrical Engineering in 2003, M.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering in 2005 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2009 all from the University of Toronto. He is past chair of Windy Hills Caledon Renewable Energy, past chair of the OSEA (Ontario Sustainable Energy Association) Board and was an executive chair of the Seventh World Wind Energy Conference 2008 (WWEC 2008). He is currently a member of the management committee for the Ontario Green Energy Act Alliance in the midst of implementation of the most progressive renewable energy policy in North America. His research interests involve sustainable/renewable energy generation, wind power generation, smart grid technology, power systems, electromagnetics, power electronic applications for distributed generation, grid connection impacts of renewable generation, energy policy promoting widespread implementation of sustainable power generation, sustainable energy project economics and sustainability of technologies.

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Taufik Taufik California Polytechnic State University

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Dr. Taufik received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering with minor in Computer Science from Northern Arizona University in 1993, M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois, Chicago in 1995, and Doctor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from Cleveland State University in 1999. He joined the Electrical Engineering department at Cal Poly State University in 1999 where he is currently a tenured Professor. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and has done consulting work and has been employed by several companies including Capstone Microturbine, Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley), Picker International, Rantec, San Diego Gas & Electric, APD Semiconductor, Diodes Inc., Partoe Inc., and Enerpro.

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An Active Power Factor Correction Laboratory Experiment for Power Electronics CourseAbstractThe use of power factor correction (PFC) circuits has been proven to save electrical energy useby up to 25%. When electrical loads are predominantly linear, a simple shunt capacitor willgenerally be sufficient to improve the power factor. However, as the use of power electronicsbecomes more prevalent, a more advanced solution using active components is needed. Onesuch active PFC circuit currently installed in today’s off-line switching power supplies such asthose used in personal computers is the boost-converter based active PFC. Such an increasinguse of active PFC demands an understanding of its concept and operation for future powersupply engineers. This paper presents a new laboratory experiment that was developed toenforce student’s understanding of boost active PFC. The experiment consists of computersimulation and hardware setup enabling students to inspect and observe the benefits of usingactive PFC as compared to two conventional methods. Moreover, the hardware setup for the labexperiment uses a module that was built in a simple way such that it can be easily replicated.The newly developed active PFC experiment has been introduced to our students for the pastthree years. Lessons learned from running this experiment including ideas for furtherimprovement of the experiment will be discussed and presented in this paper.

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