Asee peer logo

Pscad Simulation In A Power Electronics Application Course

Download Paper |


2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Novel Applications of Computers/Software in Energy Education

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1212.1 - 12.1212.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Liping Guo University of Northern Iowa

visit author page

Liping Guo received the B. E. degree in Automatic Control from Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China in 1997, the M. S. and Ph. D. degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Auburn University, AL, USA in 2001 and 2006 respectively. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Electrical & Information Engineering Technology Program at the Department of Industrial Technology at the University of Northern Iowa. Her research and teaching interests are mainly in the area of power electronics, embedded systems and automatic control.

visit author page

author page

Recayi 'Reg' Pecen

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

PSCAD Simulation in a Power Electronics Application Course Abstract

This paper introduces computer simulation studies of basic power electronics circuits using a Power System Computer Aided Design (PSCAD) software package in a junior/senior level power electronics course in a four-year electrical engineering technology institution. The Power Electronics Applications course mainly covers the following topics: Operation and characteristics of switching devices, rectifiers, dc-dc converter and inverters. Simulation of the power electronics circuits provides students an opportunity to observe the circuit parameters and signal waveforms before actual circuit wiring is completed. Case studies include a half-wave input-output rectifier, a buck converter and a full-bridge inverter.


In this paper, a Power System Computer Aided Design (PSCAD) software package is used to accompany the teaching of a power electronics application course. PSCAD is a software package for power system simulations developed by Manitoba HVDC Research Centre1. Free trial and student versions are offered on the web site at This is especially attractive for students because they are able to download the software on their personal computer and work on the simulation before or after the laboratory. PSCAD results are solved as instantaneous values in time, but can be converted to phasor magnitudes and angles via built-in transducer and measurement functions. This is very similar to how real system measurements are performed, such as rms meters and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) spectrum analyzers. The PSCAD simulation tool can therefore duplicate the response of power electronics circuits at all frequencies. Users are able to select time steps ranging from nanoseconds to seconds2. In comparison with other simulation software such as PSpice, PSCAD is specifically targeted to simulate power systems and power electronics circuits. On the other hand, PSpice is a general purpose analog and mixed-signal circuit simulator used to verify circuit designs and to predict circuit behavior.

Case studies discussed in this paper include a half-wave rectifier, a buck converter and a full- bridge inverter. Before the case studies, students were given a tutorial of PSCAD in order to become familiar with the software package. The tutorial includes the following topics: (1) How to locate components in the Master Library; (2) How to configure components; (3) How to assemble components and plot the voltage and current waveforms; (4) How to run the project file and obtain simulation results. A simple voltage divider circuit was built, and output voltage and current were plotted and observed. After the tutorial, students became familiar with the PSCAD software and were ready to proceed to simulate more advanced circuits.

Case study I – Half-wave rectifiers

The first case study is analysis of a half-wave rectifier circuit. During the lecture, students are introduced how a half-wave rectifier works with a pure resistive load and resistive-inductive load. However, without an observation of the voltage and current waveforms at AC and DC terminals, the topic can not be fully comprehended.

Guo, L., & Pecen, R. R. (2007, June), Pscad Simulation In A Power Electronics Application Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2985

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015