EE 413 is an elective course taken by undergraduate and graduate electrical engineering students. The objective of EE 413 is to introduce techniques for the analysis, design, and application of the switch-mode power converters that are used in power supplies, motor and actuator drives, and the interface between power distribution systems and emerging energy sources such as fuel cells, photovoltaics, and superconducting magnetic energy storage systems. Several laboratory experiments provide an opportunity to characterize the switching behavior of semiconductor devices, build and test various dc/dc and ac/dc converters, and consider alternatives for gate/base drive and feedback isolation circuits required to build practical converters.

This course draws upon the students' background in time-domain circuit analysis, electronic devices and circuits, Fourier analysis, and use of software such as PSPICE and MATLAB. It does not require a background in power or electric machinery, although students with such a background will be able to appreciate many of the applications more fully.

The course is divided into four major areas: rectifiers and phase-controlled converters, dc-to-dc converters, inverters, and design considerations for practical converters. The focus in each of the first three areas is to determine the relationship between the magnitude of the fundamental frequency component and/or average value of the voltages and currents at the two ports of the particular converter. Additional harmonic or ripple components are then considered and design guidelines for the switching and reactive components are derived. The fourth area encompasses the study of power device characteristics, the design of gate drive and feedback circuits, and the analysis/design of elementary controllers.

As the name implies, students interested in either electronics or power will find this course worthwhile. Electronics students will gain a new perspective on the operation and analysis of electronic circuits as well as an opportunity to discover what has powered the circuits that they have studied up until this course. Power students will see how and why power electronics are revolutionizing motor control and power distribution as well as the power quality issues associated with electronic power conversion.