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Power Electronics

General details of the subject

Face-to-face degree course

Description and contextualization of the subject

Based on the recently released forecasts, the electric energy consumption worldwide will increase by almost 56% until 2040. Almost half of the electricity demand will be generated by renewables, whereas the conventional energy sources (fossil fuels) must be utilized by causing the lowest possible energy losses enabling higher energy efficiencies. Power Electronics will play a key-role in the development of the future electric energy systems. The task of Power Electronics is to process and control the flow of electric energy by supplying voltages and currents in a form that are optimally suited for user loads. The development of state-of-the-art low and high power semiconductor devices, make Power Electronics to hold a leading role in dc/dc, dc/ac and ac/dc electric energy conversion for a wide range of application areas. Such areas are electricity transmission and distribution, renewable energy integration, transportation, household appliances, medium and large-scale industrial equipment, aerospace electronics, medical equipment etc. Individual challenges can be found for each specific application area. However, the biggest challenges in Power Electronics are associated with achieving higher energy efficiencies, higher power densities, higher degree of reliability, immunity against electromagnetic interference (EMI), control stability and robustness etc. In order to deal with the individual challenges, the basis of Power Electronics must be first studied in details. This course focuses on presenting the fundamental Power Electronics Converters concepts along with basics of controlling these systems. The most common applications of Power Electronics are also treated.

Teaching staff

NameInstitutionCategoryDoctorTeaching profileAreaE-mail
BLANCO ILZARBE, JESUS MARIAUniversity of the Basque CountryProfesorado Titular De UniversidadDoctorNot bilingualFluid
EGUIA LOPEZ, PABLOUniversity of the Basque CountryProfesorado AgregadoDoctorNot bilingualElectrical
MARTINEZ DE ALEGRIA MANCISIDOR, IÑIGOUniversity of the Basque CountryProfesorado AgregadoDoctorBilingualElectronic


To define, model and analyze complex systems within power electronics.20.0 %
To design power electronic converters within Electric Energy Technology and SmartGrids with argument criteria15.0 %
To plan and operate the use of power electronic converters in the present and future electric grid and industrial- and oil installations20.0 %
To work independently and in groups20.0 %
To use instruments and equipment in the laboratory15.0 %
To use computer simulation tools for investigating the performance of various power electronic converters10.0 %

Study types

TypeFace-to-face hoursNon face-to-face hoursTotal hours
Applied classroom-based groups141428
Applied laboratory-based groups161632

Training activities

NameHoursPercentage of classroom teaching
Classroom/Seminar/Workshop18.0100 %
Exercises14.00 %
Expositive classes41.0100 %
Groupwork16.00 %
Laboratory/Field16.0100 %
Reading and practical analysis20.00 %
Systematised study62.50 %

Assessment systems

NameMinimum weightingMaximum weighting
Drawing up reports and presentations15.0 % 35.0 %
Written examination65.0 % 85.0 %


Topic 1 Overview of the course

¿ Introduction to power electronic systems

¿ Fundamental concepts

(Static power conversion, power semiconductors, inductor and capacitor response), Examples.

Topic 2 Line-Frequency Diode Rectifiers

¿ Review of basic electric circuit (single and three-phase diode rectifiers)

¿ Operating modes

¿ Effect of single-phase rectifier on neutral currents in three-phase, four-wire systems

¿ Applications and exercises

Topic 3 Line-Frequency Phase-Controlled Rectifiers and Inverters

¿ Review of basic electric circuits (single and three-phase phase-controlled rectifiers and inverters)

¿ Control and operating modes of thyristor converters

¿ Applications and exercises

Topic 4 dc/dc Switch-Mode Converters

¿ Control of dc/dc converters

¿ Step-down (buck) converter (basic electric circuit, continuous/discontinuous and boundary operating modes, control)

¿ Step-up (boost) converter (basic electric circuit, continuous/discontinuous and boundary operating modes, control)

¿ Buck-boost converter (basic electric circuit, continuous/discontinuous and boundary operating modes, control)

¿ Applications and exercises

Topic 5 Switch-Mode dc/ac Inverters

¿ Basic concepts of switch-mode inverters

¿ Single-phase inverters (basic electric circuit, PWM modulation and control)

¿ Three-phase inverters (basic electric circuit, PWM modulation and control)

¿ Rectifier mode of operation

¿ Applications and exercises

Topic 6 Switching dc Power Supplies

¿ Linear power supplies

¿ Overview of switching power supplies

¿ dc/dc converters with electrical isolation

¿ Designing to meet the power supply specifications (EMI)

Topic 7 Resonant Converters

¿ Classification of resonant converters

¿ Zero-current switching (ZCS) resonant-switch converters

¿ Zero-voltage switching (ZVS) resonant-switch converters

Topic 8 Applications of Power Electronics

¿ Induction motor drives

¿ Synchronous motor drives

¿ Residential and industrial applications

¿ Electric utility applications

Topic 9 Guest lectures:

¿ Lecture from distinguished professors or professionals from the industry on a selected topic relevant to the course content

Topic 10 Students¿ project presentation and discussion


Basic bibliography

N. Mohan, T. M. Undeland and W. Robbins, ¿Power electronics: converters, applications, and design. John Wiley & Sons, 2007.¿

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