Talk:Power electronics

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Power electronic converters can be found wherever there is a need to modify a form of electrical energy (i.e. change its voltage, current or frequency). The power range of these converters is from some milliwatts (as in a mobile phone) to hundreds of megawatts (e.g. in a HVDC transmission system). With "classical" electronics, electrical currents and voltage are used to carry information, whereas with power electronics, they carry power. Thus, the main metric of power electronics becomes the efficiency. The first very high power electronic devices were mercury arc valves. In modern systems the conversion is performed with semiconductor switching devices such as diodes, thyristors and transistors. In contrast to electronic systems concerned with transmission and processing of signals and data, in power electronics substantial amounts of electrical energy are processed. An AC/DC converter (rectifier) is the most typical power electronics device found in many consumer electronic devices, e.g. television sets, personal computers, battery chargers, etc. The power range is typically from tens of watts to several hundred watts. In industry the most common application is the variable speed drive (VSD) that is used to control an induction motor. The power range of VSDs start from a few hundred watts and end at tens of megawatts. The power conversion systems can be classified according to the type of the input and output power AC to DC (rectifier) DC to AC (inverter) DC to DC (DC to DC converter) AC to AC (AC to AC converter) [edit]Switching

As efficiency is at a premium in a power electronic converter, the losses that a power electronic device generates should be as low as possible. The instantaneous dissipated power of a device is equal to the product of the voltage across the device and the current through it (). From this, one can see that the losses of a power device are at a minimum when the voltage across it is zero (the device is in the On-State) or when no current flows through it (Off-State). Therefore, a power electronic converter is built around one (or more) device operating in switching mode (either On or Off). With such a structure, the energy is transferred from the input of the converter to its output by bursts. [edit]Applications

Power electronic systems are found in virtually every electronic device. For example: DC/DC converters are used in most mobile devices (mobile phones, PDA etc.) to maintain the voltage at a fixed value whatever the voltage level of the battery is. These converters are also used for electronic isolation and power factor correction. AC/DC converters (rectifiers) are used every time an electronic device is connected to the mains (computer, television etc.). These may simply change AC to DC or can also change the voltage level as part of their operation. AC/AC converters are used to change either the voltage level or the frequency (international power adapters, light dimmer). In power distribution networks AC/AC converters may be used to exchange power between utility frequency 50 Hz and 60 Hz power grids. DC/AC converters (inverters) are used primarily in UPS or renewable energy systems or emergency lighting systems. When mains power is available, it will charge the DC battery. If the mains fails, an inverter will be used to produce AC electricity at mains voltage from the DC battery. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:13, 31 August 2011 (UTC)


The devices table would be better as text. It would be useful to give the voltage, current, and frequency capabilities of each type of device, since this greatly affects where they are used. --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:51, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

OK, that's going in the right direction in my opinion but we need more of a comparision of the significant factors that dictate when particular devices are used; you don't find an SCR used in your PC power supply, bipolar transistors never got used in HVDC valves, etc. - explain how the power, voltage, and current limits affect the application of the devices, and also the switching time, commuation, and gate drive (base drive) characteristics dominate. Discussion of protection of devices would also be helpful, since there are often as many bits of hardware for protection as for actually handling power. The text needs grammatcial work, too. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:01, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
We probably don't need many more pictures, the stud-mount SCR on an air-cooled heatsink gives the reader the general idea of "metal thing with wires and fins" which they all look like to some degree; if one needs to know what a particular device may look like, there's always a linked article. We don't need to make this a copy of the International Rectifer parts catalog. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:04, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Should mention silicon and silicon carbide as device types...and why germanium isn't used. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:04, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
I suppose a water-cooled heat sink might also be illustrative. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:04, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Devices should have schematic symbols listed with the device name. This is standard electrical engineering practice, if you are an engineer or technician, you would know and understand this is necessary for schematic representation and proper documentation. This site should be for the benefit of all interested in power electronics, not just a personal preference. Schematic symbols need to be included in any discussion of devices. upchuckjunk — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Dreadful...just dreadful[edit]

If I were marking this essay I'd mark it "D". Wordy filler does not make for an encyclopedia article. This should be reverted back a month or more and work from something that had more meat and less sawdust. --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:24, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Deleted "solid state" in "Power electronics is the application of solid-state electronics ..." - mercury arc valves are discussed a lot in the article. Deleted "]], as pioneered by R. D. Middlebrook and others " undue emphasis on one seemingly randomly-chosen prof; made lower case headings as per the MOS; removed redundant text before links at the start of each style of converter; removed "e.g." padding and fuzzification; removed "When looking at the industrial applications, there are many ways that power electronic devices are used. " which is pure padding; simplified and de-cluttered that whole paragraph; deleted "The uses of power electronics discussed above are just some examples of the use of power electronics in industrial applications. " which says nothing. Removed "When looking at the residential applications, there is much emphasis on motor drives for electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. These vehicles include cars, trains, and elevators, which increase their speed and efficiency through power electronic devices. " - an electric vehicle is not a "residential application" if that means anything at all." Removed "... each having its own advantages and disadvantages of efficiency." which is empty padding. Relaced " utilized to assist in converting the power" with "used to convert power " which is less painfully wordy to read; generally replace "utilize" with "use", because it's pompous. Removed "The method in which the power electronics provide the power to the power grid is determined by the renewable energy system being used. " because it doesn't convey any information; more padding.
Deleted "origin of power electronics can be traced back to 19th century scientists and inventors; including Michael Faraday, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla. Faraday’s 1831 transformer action demonstration and the invention of the modern transformer in the 1880s can be seen as the first power electronics demonstrations, but it wasn’t until the early 20th century..." as wordy and about transformers, not power electronics; Edison never used the only electronic device he ever patented. Deleted "was used to convert high voltage/current alternating current (AC) into direct current (DC)." because it's wrong; it wasn't until Lamme came along that mercury valves could handly more than 1000 volts; and writing "voltage/current" makes the reader think we don't know what we're talking about (and she'd be right). Deleted "and then developed with positive applications in radio and then later in television" because it just sounds silly...what is a "positive application" ? Deleted "This early 20th center development in power electronics, though groundbreaking, was limited in its capabilities and thus only a limited number of devices were manufactured. " because it's meaningless or wrong or both; also silly padding.
And so on. This article needs an overhaul to bring it up even to the median level of prose typical of Wikipedia entries, let along getting on the path to "featured article" status. These late additions are not improvments; just because someone has changed 50% of the bytes in the article length doesn't mean they are good bytes. --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:47, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Merger suggested[edit]

It has been suggested that information in the Power electronics technology be merged into this article, at the AfD discussion for the Power electronics technology article.

  • Support - I support this merge, as it would consolidate all information into one page, and would improve Wikipedia's coverage of this topic. The Power electronics technology article has a significant amount of sourced information that is not in the Power electronics article. This more generically-titled article "Power electronics" is where information about its technology and technological advancements should be merged to. Northamerica1000(talk) 01:33, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

At AFD it was decided to merge and I started the merge.North8000 (talk) 13:16, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

The main aspects of the merge have been completed. I basically brought the whole article in and then pared and merged. More to be done, but the main aspects are completed. North8000 (talk) 15:02, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I have attempted to revert numerous vandalism type changes to this site in the last year and have given up. This page has been developed and or take over by a person(s) who are not interested in sharing quality information regarding this subject. Therefore, I refuse to give any more of my time or efforts on any Wikipedia site until there is some governing body with technical expertise in subjects that they edit. I am an electrical engineer specializing in power systems and power electronics and have been working in the field for about 20 years. [[upchuckjunk] 12 October 2013]

Figure 10[edit]

I believe that figure 10 gives a confusing description of the inverter's topology. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gkaf (talkcontribs) 23:17, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes I agree, using the multi-level topology for a 3-phase inverter is overly complex. Also this image is used in figure 5 as well. I propose that figure 5 be switched to a simple 3 phase inverter with 6 switches. On this same train of thought it seems out of place to have so much content focused on AC/AC and DC/AC topologies on this page, for example, content regarding Space vector PWM & mutli-level inverters belongs on separate pages not on an introductory page.

Ratherbeskiing (talk) 18:30, 18 March 2016 (UTC)