Power electronics involves the study of electronic circuits intended to control the flow of electrical energy. These circuits handle power flow at levels much higher than the individual device ratings. A circuit element as simple as a light switch reminds us that the extreme requirements in power electronics are not especially novel. Ideally, when a switch is on, it has zero voltage drop and will carry any current imposed on it. All power electronic circuits manage the flow of electrical energy between an electrical source and a load. The parts in a circuit must direct electrical flows, not impede them. High-power applications lead to interesting issues. In an inverter, the semiconductors often manipulate 30 times their power dissipation capability or more, which implies that only about 3% of the power being controlled is lost. The second issue for reliability is simplicity. It is well established in electronics design that the more parts there are in a system, the more likely it is to fail. Power electronic circuits tend to have few parts, especially in the main energy flow paths.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Power Electronics Handbook|
|Subtitle of host publication||Devices, Circuits, and Applications, Third Edition|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2010|
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