Power Converters Design Fundamentals

Course Description

The content of this course covers the methods used to design power converters. The universal commutation cell is used as a foundation in the explanation of the design procedures. In addition to the procedures for calculating semiconductor switch losses and calculating the temperature of silicon junction, the course also covers the basics of power filters design, semiconductor switch drivers, protective functions, coordination of insulation, and electromagnetic compatibility.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Choose of the optimal power converter topology with respect to the type of the power conversion
  2. Differentiate different types of power semiconductors switching
  3. Calculate power loss in the semiconductor switches using the manufacturer data and measurements
  4. Apply double pulse method in semiconductor switching loss measurement
  5. Use of basic design procedures in the cooling system design
  6. Apply basic design procedures in the design of power design
  7. Predict possible problems related to the electromagnetic compatibility and to get familiar with the methods for noise reduction
  8. Use international standards in the design and testing of the power converters

Forms of Teaching


Lectures are interactive with the application of modern methods and tools.

Seminars and workshops

Students' seminar work includes independent work on topics covered in lectures and laboratory exercises.


Laboratory exercises are a combination of simulation exercises and exercises on physical models in the laboratory.

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Laboratory Exercises 50 % 50 % 50 % 50 %
Seminar/Project 50 % 20 % 0 % 0 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 50 % 10 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 50 % 10 %
Final Exam: Oral 10 %
Exam: Written 0 % 30 %
Exam: Oral 20 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. Types of power electronics conversions. Choice of the power converter topology based on the power conversion type.
  2. Universal commutation cell as the main building block for the power converters. Basic current-voltage relationships in the universal commutation cell
  3. Voltage and current stress of the active components in the universal commutation cell. Influence of parasitic inductances and capacitances.
  4. Switching and conduction losses in the power semiconductor components
  5. Methods for modeling of the power losses in the semiconductor components. Usage of the datasheet for calculation of power loss.
  6. Thermal model of the power semiconductor devices and heatshink dimensioning. Usage of the datasheet for thermal calculation.
  7. Methods for measurement of switching and conduction loss in power semiconductor components. Methods for experimental identification of thermal model parameters.
  8. Midterm exam
  9. Insulation coordination in the power converters. International standards for the insulation coordination for different power converter applications
  10. Power stage design, low inductance busbars and rules for the placement of the components.
  11. Definition of the requirements for the design of MOSFET/IGBT gate drivers. Specific requirements for the design of the gate driver PCBs.
  12. Implementations of the power semiconductor protections. Types of over-current, over-voltage protections. Miller clamp.
  13. Power filters and basics of the design.
  14. EMC. Reduction of the common mode current. R, RC, RCD snubber circuits.
  15. Final exam

Study Programmes


Ned Mohan (2002.), Power Electronics: Converters, Applications, and Design, John Wiley & Sons
Andreas Volke (2107.), IGBT Modules. Technologies, Driver and Application, Infineon
Steve Roberts (2016.), DC/DC Book of knowledge, RECOM

For students


ID 222593
  Winter semester
L1 English Level
L1 e-Learning
30 Lectures
13 Laboratory exercises

Grading System

87 Excellent
75 Very Good
62 Good
50 Acceptable