this outline are silicon controlled rectifier (SCR)commutation circuits and cycloconverters, topicsthat once held a prominent place in many coursesof this nature. Resonant converters and softswitching are beginning to appear in courses atthis level as a means of teaching circuit analysistechniques once done with SCR commutationcircuits .
A survey of 119 schools in the US and Canada revealed that the three most popular texts for anintroductory power converters course are those byKassakkian , Mohan , and Rashid .References [15±43] are a bibliography of texts inprint for Power Electronics as of approximatelyOctober 1996. Closely related to these texts aretexts that address variable speed drives [44±56].
As noted earlier in this paper, there exists nogeneral agreement on the content or structure fora second power electronics course, one that hasthe introductory power converters course as aprerequisite. Such second courses are invariablygraduate courses intended to prepare the studentfor research for the associated graduate program[4, 5].
Undergraduate laboratory instruction empha-sizes the major application topics found in theintroductory power electronics course. The litera-ture documents such laboratory courses at Illinois, Wisconsin , New York , Pennsylvania(Penn State and Bucknell) [60, 61], Toronto ,Georgia Tech , Akron , and Missouri-Columbia . There is general agreementthroughout the literature on the specific topics soaddressed:
Modern switching semiconductor devices,components, and their characteristics
Magnetics, including inductors and trans-formers
Diode circuits and rectifiers (AC to DCconversion)
Phase controlled rectifiers (AC to DCconversion)
DC to DC switchmode converters: non-isolatedand isolated
Switchmode DC to AC convertersSimulation is an important aspect of power elec-tronics laboratory instruction. The perception thatsoftware is specialized and expensive need not betrue. Mohan  and Rashid  have PSPICEsimulations that complement their texts. Studentsalready understand PSPICE by the time they entera power electronics course, so the software learn-ing curve is not a problem. Other simulationlaboratory work uses MATLAB and MathCAD. A nice set of simulation laboratory exercisesfor SABER, a more expensive and specializedsoftware package, has been developed by Bass atGeorgia Tech .
Power electronics projects require a much widerrange of student expertise than initially may beexpected. To be successful, students must effec-tively use concepts from electromechanics, heatgeneration and transfer, circuit design andlayout, analog and digital signal processing andcontrol, filtering, electromagnetics, circuit protec-tion, and microprocessor application. Therefore,the interdisciplinary nature of power electronicspresents a wealth of project possibilities.A number of projects follow from the laboratorytopics list given above. Several of these possibilitiesare listed in . Because students see an imme-diate use for a good power supply, designingand building the same is a popular project.Fortunately, such a project follows nicely from
Table 2. Outline of topics found in a typical introductorypower electronics courseI. IntroductionA. OverviewB. Applications of Power ElectronicsII. Review MaterialA. Modern Switching Semiconductor DevicesB. Switching CharacteristicsC. The Ideal SwitchD. Switching FunctionsE. MagneticsF. TransformersG. Three-phase SystemsIII. Diode Circuits and Rectifiers (AC to DC Conversion)A. Rectifier ConceptsB. Single Phase Half and Full Wave Diode Rectifierswith1. Resistive Load2. Inductive Load3. Capacitive LoadC. Three Phase Full-wave RectifiersIV. Phase Controlled Rectifiers (AC to DC Conversion)A. Natural and Forced CommutationB. Principle of Phase Controlled ConvertersC. Single Phase Full Wave ConvertersD. Three Phase Half Wave ConvertersV. DC to DC Switchmode ConvertersA. Concept of Source Conversion: source vs. loadB. Linear RegulatorsC. Switchmode Converters1. Non-isolated Switchmode Convertersa. (Buck, Boost, Buck-Boost, Cuk)b. Continuous and Discontinuous ConductionModes2. Isolated Switchmode Power Convertersa. Single-ended Isolated Forward Converterb. Flyback ConverterVI. Switchmode DC to AC ConvertersA. Principles of OperationB. Single Phase InvertersC. Three Phase Inverters
H. L. Hess