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Teaching Power Electronics Converter Experiments that Integrates Fuzzy Logic Approach

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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

Investigating Alternative Energy Concepts

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1399.1 - 22.1399.10



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Paper Authors


Ahmed Rubaai Howard University

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Ahmed Rubaai received the M.S.E.E degree from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1983, and the Dr. Eng. degree from Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1988. In 1988, he joined Howard University, Washington, D.C., as a faculty member, where he is presently a Professor of Electrical Engineering. He is the Founder and Lead Developer of Motion Control and Drives Laboratory at Howard University ( and is actively involved in many projects with industry, while engaged in teaching, research and consulting in the area of artificial intelligence. His research interests include built-in intelligent controller for high performance industrial drives, hardware testing in laboratory, research and development of intelligent applications for manufacturing systems, and industrial applications.

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Abdul R. Ofoli University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

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Dr. Ofoli received his B.Sc. degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, in 1999, and the M.Eng. degree and Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Howard University, Washington, DC, in 2002 and 2006, respectively.

During his graduate studies at Howard University, he developed and implemented real-time control algorithms for industrial applications using advance digital control, adaptive control techniques and intelligent control for alternative energy systems, drives, automation and power networks. To show the applicability of these controls to the industrial world, he focused on hardware implementation of most of these control techniques using industrial standard rapid prototyping tools like dSPACE systems utilizing Matlab/Simulink software from Mathworks. He was the recipient of the 2006 IEEE/IAS Transaction Second Prize Paper Award.

Dr Ofoli is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga (UTC). Prior to joining the UTC in August 2010, Dr. Ofoli has been working with Cummins Inc at their headquarters in Columbus, IN as a senior controls engineer for four years. At Cummins, he developed and implemented real-time control algorithms and strategies for diesel automotive applications to meet specific control objectives with the major one being the 2010 EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) emission standard for diesel engines. His developed software for emission controls are currently being used on 2010 Cummins Diesel engines and three patents have been filled in regard to that. Dr. Ofoli’s area of interest includes power electronics, power system, intelligent controls, renewable energy, and engine controls.

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Teaching Power Electronics Converter Experiments using Fuzzy Logic Approach This paper presents a fuzzy logic approach to teaching about power electronics convertersin the laboratory. The approach is based on model-free software-hardware platform for use inconverter experiments in a basic power electronics course. This course is an optional subject,and, therefore, the experiments need to motivate the students. The platform is controlled bymodel-free software run on a personal computer (PC) and is an ideal complement for theoreticalstudy. The student can control the fundamental parameters of the converter topology through theuser interface. The user interface is designed to provide simple interaction between student andsoftware. This environment allowed for extensive experimentation, performance comparison,and development of several practical control algorithms. Students also improved their writtenand oral communication skills as well as experimental proficiency from the hands-on approach.In addition, working in a team of diverse students encouraged constant discourse and exchangeof ideas through the course of the design of the controllers. All students have reacted positivelyto the experiments and overall interest has definitely been increased. The fundamental educational objectives are: 1) to provide hands-on experience inpractical power electronics applications, 2) to reinforce and support lecture-based courses inpower electronics, and 3) to train a new cadre of graduates who value experimentation as anessential and natural part of solving engineering problems. Hence, the undergraduate engineeringeducation becomes more attractive and meaningful to the students. The author found thelaboratory experiments to help reach the goal of lab-based teaching. The experiments definitelyrequired critical thinking by the students. It is expected that the techniques employed in thecontroller designed for the laboratory experiments will likely be used by the students in theirsubsequent employment after completion of their college education. Student opinions of the labexperience, as determined through anonymous surveying, are also presented in the paper andways to improve the lab based on these feedbacks are discussed.

Rubaai, A., & Ofoli, A. R. (2011, June), Teaching Power Electronics Converter Experiments that Integrates Fuzzy Logic Approach Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18565

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