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Syllabus for

Academic year
ENM061 - Power electronic converters
Kraftelektroniska omvandlare
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-10 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPEPO
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Main field of study: Electrical Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 21120
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: A+
Maximum participants: 96

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0116 Examination 6,0 c Grading: TH   6,0 c   15 Jan 2022 pm J,  11 Apr 2022 pm J,  23 Aug 2022 pm J
0216 Laboratory 1,5 c Grading: UG   1,5 c    

In programs

TIELL ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING - Electrical Engineering, Year 3 (compulsory)
TIELL ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING - Common branch of study, Year 3 (compulsory elective)


Torbjörn Thiringer

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Course specific prerequisites for MPEPO in the Admission Regulations


The aim of the course is to make the students familiar with the operating principles of the most common power electronic converter topologies. Basic converter design, analysis of wave-shapes and efficiency calculations are among the items that the students will be able to perform after having participated in the course. The students will perform both simulations using Cadence PSpice as well as experimental work on real DC/DC-converters. The course lays the foundation for the continuation course 'Power Electronic Devices and Applications'. The items treated in the course are also useful for engineering work in many different areas, e.g. design of power supplies, electric drive systems or power system applications.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • Determine Fourier components and total harmonic distortion (THD) for basic current and voltage wave-shapes.
  • Recognize the operating principle of the most common active components (e.g. diode, thyristor, IGBT, and MOSFET) as well as the most common passive components (e.g. capacitors, transformers and inductors).
  • Explain and exemplify how pulse width modulation (PWM) works. Describe the purpose as well as the means to control the desired quantity and recognize the need for a controller circuit within the power electronic converter.
  • Analyze and perform analytical calculations of ideal DC/DC converters such as the buck, boost, buck-boost, flyback and the forward converter. The operating principle of each topology is differentiated and thoroughly evaluated in both continuous and discontinuous conduction mode by its current and voltage wave-shapes. In addition to this, other topologies (e.g. the push-pull, half-bridge and full-bridge converter) and circuit enhancements (e.g. converter interleaving) are exemplified.
  • Describe the basic operating principle of both single-phase and three-phase DC/AC inverters. Different modulation strategies (e.g. PWM and square wave operation) are implemented and the resulting current and voltage waveforms are evaluated and compared.
  • Explain the operation of multilevel converters (e.g. 3-level and 5-level NPC and MMC topologies) by current and voltage waveform analysis and apply the benefits and drawbacks to e.g. harmonics and losses.
  • Perform calculations on single- and three-phase diode rectifiers operating with voltage-stiff and current-stiff DC-side. Apply the concept of line impedance within the converter circuit (current commutation) and evaluate the influence.
  • Perform calculations on single- and three-phase thyristor rectifiers operating with a current stiff DC-side. Apply the concept of line impedance within the converter circuit (current commutation) and evaluate the influence. Analyze more advanced topologies (e.g. 12-pulse connection) of the thyristor rectifier and distinguish the benefits and drawbacks.
  • Identify simple power electronic converter diagrams and schematics. Recognize the different parts in a physical circuit on which basic wave-shape and efficiency measurements is performed.
  • Perform an average small-signal dynamic modeling of a step-down converter in order to demonstrate how a corresponding analog and digital controllers can be designed.
  • Determine the losses in both passive and active components. The resulting temperature in the active component is evaluated and an appropriate heat-sink is chosen. Have a basic understanding of how the lifetime of a component can be determined.
  • Implement and test the various power electronic converter circuits, containing discrete elements, using Spice-based computer softwares as well as perform practical labs to have a firsthand experience on how real DC/DC converters operate. The exercises will help to understand the operating principles of the various converter circuits, analyze waveforms, evaluate parameter variations and perform harmonic/Fourier analysis.


Lectures and tutorials:

  • Review: electric and mathematic prerequisites, voltage and current relations for passive components, mean and RMS-value, Fourier analysis.
  • Active and passive components: diodes, thyristors, MOSFETs, GTOs, IGBTs, inductors, transformers and capacitors.
  • DC/DC converters without isolation: buck, boost, buck-boost and the H-bridge converter.
  • DC/DC-converters with isolation: flyback, forward, half-bridge, push-pull and the full-bridge converter.
  • DC/AC-generation: single-phase and three-phase AC-generation, square-wave and PWM-modulated inverters, multilevel inverters.
  • Diode rectifiers: single- and three-phase diode rectifiers with continuous and discontinuous DC-side current.
  • Thyristor converters: single- and three-phase thyristor rectifiers with varying DC-side load.
  • Converter enhancements: dynamic modeling, controller design, and improved configurations
  • Heat distribution and life-time: Loss calculations, thermal calculations, cooling requirements and component life-time.

Laboratory experiments (compulsory):
  • Buck converter
  • Flyback converter

PSpice assignments (compulsory):
  • Seven PSpice exercises dealing with the converters analyzed in the course.


The course consists of approximately:

  • 18 lectures (2 x 45min)
  • 13 tutorials (2 x 45min)
  • 2 practical laborations (4h)
  • 7 PSpice computer assignments (2h)


Mohan, Undeland, Robbins.
Power Electronics Converters, Applications and Design.
Wiley 2003, 3rd ed.

Examination including compulsory elements

Written examination with grades Fail, 3, 4 or 5.
Approved laborations and PSpice assignments.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.