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Design of a Lab Component on Switching Mode DC-DC Converters for Analog Electronics Courses

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Circuits and Systems Education 3

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.466.1 - 26.466.15



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Paper Authors


Yoon G. Kim Calvin College

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Yoon G. Kim received his M.S. and D.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000 and 2005, respectively. He is a faculty member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering program in the Engineering Department at Calvin College in Michigan and teaches courses in analog electronics and control systems. He has over 11 years of industrial Research and Development experience in the area of telecommunication systems, where he designed analog and digital systems, including digital set-top-box converters for Hybrid Fiber Coax cable networks, digital video scramblers, data acquisition systems, analog subscriber line interface systems, DC-DC converters, DC-AC converters, and microprocessor boards. His research interests include Wireless Sensor Networks, Power Electronics and Embedded Systems.

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Design of a lab component on switching mode DC-DC converters for analog electronics coursesThis paper presents a practical approach to teaching an introductory-level laboratory experimentfocused on the analysis of switching-mode power converters. This experiment would take placein an analog electronics course as a laboratory component for junior undergraduate electrical andcomputer engineering students.Switching mode power supplies have been used for many decades in industries and consumerelectronics. Recently, they have become pervasive in our daily life as many smartphones,portable computing devices, and renewable energy systems are using switching mode powerconverters. Due to the widely accepted technology, a lab component has been added in an analogelectronics course.The approach taken is to integrate students’ knowledge and experiences with electronic discretecomponents such as BJTs, diodes, inductors and other passive devices and to enhance theirlearning about non-linear circuits utilizing low-voltage, low-power switching power converterexperiments. The lab is designed to use general purpose components, which are usually availablein most electrical engineering laboratories and is designed to avoid special-purpose switchingpower conversion ICs, which embed all of the function blocks necessary (including switchingtransistors) inside the ICs. These ICs are specially designed to reduce the overall manufacturingcost of switching power supplies. Although using these ICs is a cost effective way to mass-produce power supplies, using them in an undergraduate-level electronics lab would limit thestudents’ learning about the theory behind switching power supplies. The experiments in the labutilize BJTs, Schottky-barrier diodes, inductors, and oscillator circuits running at 150 KHz as theswitching frequency. The experiment starts by exploring a boost type converter topology,demonstrating to students that such circuits can produce a voltage higher than the input voltage.This should arouse the student’s curiosity and motivate them to get engaged in the further labexperiments.The objectives of the lab are to analyze switching mode power converter topologies and circuits,to utilize BJTs as nonlinear switching devices, to design oscillator circuits, to simulate analogcircuits in SPICE, to fabricate the circuits, to measure data, and to compare the results of realcircuits with that of simulation. The lab component presented here focuses on connectingconverter topology theory, SPICE simulation, circuit construction, measurement, and verification.This paper includes complete working schematics, simulation results, measurement data, partnumbers, and vendors list. It would enable any instructor to easily adopt the switching powerconverter lab in their analog circuit courses.After all experiments have been completed, the students submit a lab report which includesobjectives, results/discussion, and conclusions. All eighteen junior students have successfullycompleted the lab. The conclusions of the reports have shown that they found the lab beneficialin their understanding of switching mode power conversion.* A partial simulation result* Limited References 1. A. Rubaai, “Teaching Power Electronics Converter Experiments that Integrates Fuzzy Logic Approach,” Proc. 2011 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, 2011 2. R. Belu, “A Project-based Power Electronics Course with an Increased Content of Renewable-energy Applications”, Proc. 2009 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, 2009 3. W. Thain, “A Laboratory Component of a Switching Power Supply Course Requiring Nominal Resources,” Proc. 2009 ASEE Southeast Section Conference, 2009 4. P. Idowu, “Development of Simulation Models for Power Converters – Undergraduate Research Experience,” Proc. 2005 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, 2005 5. D. S. Zinger, “An Introductory Power Electronics Course Laboratory,” Proc. 1999 ASEE Conference, 1999

Kim, Y. G. (2015, June), Design of a Lab Component on Switching Mode DC-DC Converters for Analog Electronics Courses Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23804

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