Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Electrical and Computer
Power Electronics faces stiff competition from other electrical and computer engineering disciplines. The price point and barrier to entry for incorporating professional-grade software development tools, computing hardware (such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi), and programmable logic hardware into hands-on lab exercises can be as low as zero, and 100$USD can equip a student with development platforms that are commonly used in industry; this is also affordable to the ambitious student that would rather own their own equipment.
There are numerous challenges in designing power lab exercises that illustrate textbook concepts on the lab bench, at low cost, and requiring only basic test equipment. For contrast - it is possible to illustrate analog signal processing concepts by building a slow, stable circuit on a breadboard, and scaling to higher frequencies on paper, once the concept is understood. But this model is difficult to apply even to the most basic power conversion circuits; while signal processing functions are often available as discrete components, most modern power circuits are highly integrated out of necessity. While it is possible to base a lab exercise on an off-the-shelf monolithic power converter, much of the operation is hidden, and quality oscilloscopes and current probes are out of reach for many schools.
This paper presents the development of several lab exercises in power electronics that are designed to provide hands-on, intuitive experience with concepts such as thermal resistance, efficiency, inductor current waveforms, and operation of boost and buck converters, early in a student’s academic career. Emphasis is placed on simplicity, low-cost, and illustrating concepts, rather than on electrical performance. A free and open-source model for distribution, review, and improvement is followed, allowing labs to be tailored to the needs of specific classes, and examples of improvements made as a result of student experience in hands-on workshops in the lab are discussed.
Assessment is based on student and instructor feedback from informal workshops given at local universities. Future assessment may include student course selection in subsequent semesters, and ultimately, students’ choice of concentration for graduate studies.
Thoren, M. W., & Taufik, T. (2020, June), Designing Introductory, Hands-on, Open Source Power Electronics Lab Exercises Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34408
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