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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

UNIT I

1. Introduction

1.1. Definition and background of power electronic system

The demand for energy, particularly in electrical forms, is ever-increasing in order to


improve the standard of living. Power electronics helps with the efficient use of electricity,
thereby reducing power consumption. Semiconductor devices are used as switches for power
conversion or processing, as are solid state electronics for efficient control of the amount of
power and energy flow. Higher efficiency and lower losses are required for devices for a
range of applications, from microwave ovens to high-voltage dc transmission. New devices
and power electronic systems are now evolving for even more efficient control of power and
energy. Energy is a critical need in every human activity. The capability and exibility of
modern electronics must be brought to bear to meet the challenges of reliable, efficient
energy. It is essential to consider how electronic circuits and systems can be applied to the
challenges of energy conversion and management. This is the framework of power
electronics, a discipline defined in terms of electrical energy conversion, applications, and
electronic devices.
Definition-1: Power electronics is an application of solid state electronics for the control and
conversion of electric energy.
Definition-2: 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.
Block diagram of power electronic system:

Fig. 1.1 Block diagram of power electronic system

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

Power electronic system shown in Fig. 1.1 consists of an electrical energy source, an
electrical load, a power electronic converter, controller and a signal conditioning circuit. The
power electronic circuit contains switches, lossless energy storage elements, and magnetic
transformers. The controllers take information from the source, the load, and the designer,
and then determine how the switches operate to achieve the desired conversion. The
controllers are built up with conventional low-power analog and digital electronics.
Switching devices are selected based on their power handling rating the product of their
voltage and current ratings rather than on power dissipation ratings. This is in contrast to
other applications of electronics, in which power dissipation ratings dominate.

1.2. Power Semiconductor Devices

Power semiconductor devices constitute the heart of modern power electronic apparatus.
They are used in power electronic converters in the form of on-off switches. The
advancement of microelectronics has greatly contributed to the knowledge of power device
materials, processing, fabrication, packaging, modeling, and simulation.
Todays power semiconductor devices are almost exclusively based on silicon material and
can be classified as shown in Fig.1.2:

Fig. 1.2 Classification of power electronic devices (power


semiconductor devices)

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

1.3. Applications of Power Electronics


Power electronics have already found an important place in modern technology. It is difficult
draw a boundary for the application of power electronics. Nevertheless, some applications of
power electronics are given in Fig.1.3.

Fig. 1.3 Applications of power electronics

1.4. Silicon Controlled Rectifier


Silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) is also known as thyristor is a four layer (pnpn), three
junction and three terminal semiconductor device. The three terminals are anode (A), cathode
(K) and gate (G). The basic structure and symbol of SCR is shown in Fig. 1.3 (a).

Fig. 1.3 (a) Basic structure and symbol of SCR

The SCR operates in three modes of operation forward blocking region, forward conduction
region and reverse blocking region. When the anode is made positive with respect to cathode
the junctions J1 and J3 are forward biased, where as junction J2 is reverse biased and hence

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

only small leakage current flows from anode to cathode and is known as forward leakage
current. This state of operation is known as forward blocking region.
The junction J2 exhibit a junction capacitance Cj2 and the current required to make this
junction forward biased is ij2, then the relation between them is

2 = 2

2
=
2

If 2 = 10 and 2 = 10 then = 1000/

Fig. 1.3 (b) V-I characteristics of SCR

If the anode to cathode voltage is increased to sufficiently large value, then reverse biased J2
junction breaks and this is known as avalanche breakdown. The corresponding voltage is
known as forward break over voltage VBO. At this voltage all the three junctions are
forward biased and SCR conducts, resulting in large anode current. The SCR will then be in
forward conduction region or on-state region. But this turn-on could be destructive. In
practice a forward voltage is applied below VBO and the SCR is turned on by applying
positive voltage between gate and cathode.

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

Latching current is the minimum value of anode current required to change the state of
SCR from off state to on state.
Holding current is the minimum value of anode current required to keep the device in on-
state condition below which SCR turns off. The holding current is of the order of milli
amperes and is less than latching current.
On-state current is the value of anode current that flows through the device even if gate
voltage is removed.
When the anode is made negative with respect to cathode the junction J2 is forward biased
but the junction J1 and J3 are reverse biased. Under this condition the SCR will be in reverse
blocking region and due to which a reverse leakage current would flows through the device.
If cathode to anode voltage is increased to a voltage called reverse break down voltage the
device conducts in reverse direction due to which large reverse current flows through the
device and device get damaged. A typical v-i characteristics of an SCR is shown in Fig. 1.3
(b).
1.4.1 Two transistor analogy of SCR
The SCR can be considered as two complementary transistors, one is pnp transistor Q1 and
other is npn transistor Q2. The two transistor model of an SCR is shown in Fig. 1.3 (c).

Fig. 1.3 (c) Two transistor model of SCR


The collector current IC of a transistor is related to the emitter current IE and the leakage
current of the collector-base junction ICBO as
= +
For Q1 transistor
1 = 1 1 + 1
Similarly for Q2 transistor

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

2 = 2 2 + 2
From Fig. 1.3 (c), we have
For Q1 transistor
= 1 = 1 + 1 = 1 + 2

= 1 + 1 + 2 ( + ) + 2
2 + 1 + 2
=
1 (1 + 2 )

If (1 + 2 ) tends to unity the denominator term approaches to zero, resulting in large value
of anode current and the device will turn-on with a small gate current.
1.4.2 SCR turn-on methods
i. High voltage turn-on

If the forward voltage applied across the SCR is greater than the forward break over voltage
then SC will turn-on. This type of turn-on may destroy the device and should be avoided.

ii. turn-on

If the rate of rise of anode to cathode voltage is high, the charging current of the capacitive
junction (J2) may be sufficient to turn-on the SCR. This current may damage the SCR.
iii. Thermal turn-on

If the temperature of the SCR is high, then there will be an increase in the number of electron
hole pair, which would increase the leakage current. This increase in leakage current would
cause 1 and 2 to increase and due to regenerative action (1 + 2 ) tends to unity and as a
result large anode current flows and the device may be turned on. This type turn-on may
damage the device due to thermal runway and is normally avoided.
iv. Light turn-on

In light activated SCR light is allowed to strike the junction, this increases the electron-hole
pair and the device may be turned on.
v. Gate turn-on

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

If the SCR is forward biased by applying positive gate voltage between gate and cathode
terminals the device will be turned on. As gate current increases forward break over voltage
decreases.

1.4.3 SCR Protection against and

i. Protection

If the rate of rise of anode current is larger as compared to the spread velocity of carriers
local hot spots will be formed near the gate terminal due to high current density which can
destroy the SCR.
Therefore the rate of rise of anode current at the time of turn-on should be kept below the
specified limits. This can be accomplished by using a small inductor in series with the anode
circuit as shown in Fig. 1.3 (d).


Fig. 1.3 (d) Protection

The value of LS can be computed using the equation



=


ii. Protection

When anode is made positive with respect to cathode junction J2 is reverse biased and having
the characteristics of a capacitor due to stored charges across the junction. The entire voltage
across the SCR develops across J2 junction and if the charge stored is Q then the charging
current ij2 is given by


2 = = 2

Where 2 is the junction capacitance across 2 and is constant

If the rate of rise of forward voltage is high then resultant high charging current can turn-

on the SCR even when gate voltage is zero.

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

This can be avoided by using a Snubber circuit connected in parallel with the device as
shown in Fig. 1.3 (e).


Fig. 1.3 (e) Protection

The Snubber circuit is a series combination of resistance RS and capacitance CS. When SCR
is off CS charges to a voltage equal to VS. When SCR is on CS discharges through SCR and

sends current equal to . The design of Snubber circuit is explained below:

With short circuited load


0.632 0.632
= =


=

Where

=

With load
0.632
=
( + )2

=

Power loss across the Snubber circuit is calculated using the equation
1
= 2
2
Using energy and power relation the above equation can be written as
1
= 2
2
1
With =

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

1
= 2
2

Example: Let = 325, = 3000, = 50, = 500/

3000
= = = 9.23
325

= = 35.2

0.632
= = 0.4108


=
0.4108
= = = 0.01
35.2
Power loss across Snubber is
1
= 2 = 26.4
2
1.5. Control Characteristics
The control characteristics of few power semiconductor devices such as SCR, GTO, SITH,
MCT, BJT, MOSFET and IGBT are discussed in this section.
1.5.1. SCR

A silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) is basically a three junction pnpn device where pnp and
npn transistors are connected in regenerative feedback mode. The device can be triggered
into conduction by a small positive gate current pulse. Once the device is conducting, gate
loses its control to turn-off the device. The circuit diagram and control characteristics of SCR
for both AC and DC input are given in Fig.1.4. In Fig.1.4 (b) the SCR triggered at a delay
angle or firing angle (), it is the angle between the instant at which the input voltage begins
and instant at which SCR is triggered. When SCR is triggered at with positive half cycle of
AC input, SCR conducts and the input voltage appears across output. During negative half
cycle of the AC input SCR is reverse biased, the gate pulse has no effect on the operation of
SCR and hence zero voltage appears across the output. In Fig.1.4 (d) SCR is triggered at
with DC input, SCR conducts and the input voltage appears across output.

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

Fig. 1.4 (a) Circuit diagram for AC input (b) Control characteristics
(c) Circuit diagram for DC input (d) Control characteristics

1.5.2. GTO/SITH/MCT

A gate turn-off thyristor (GTO) is basically thyristor type device that can be turned on by
applying positive gate pulse and turned off by applying negative gate pulse. The circuit
diagram and control characteristics of GTO are shown in Fig.1.5.

Fig. 1.5 (a) Circuit diagram for DC input (b) Control characteristics
A static induction thyristor (SITH) and MOS controlled thyristor (MCT) are similar to GTO.

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

1.5.3. BJT/MOSFET/IGBT

A bipolar junction transistor (BJT) is unlike thyristor like device, is a current controlled two
junction device. An npn transistor is more popular than pnp transistor due to its higher
mobility of electrons. The device can be turned on by applying positive pulses and turned off
by applying zero or negative pulses between base and emitter with different duty cycles. The
circuit diagram and control characteristics of BJT are shown in Fig. 1.6. The control
characteristics of MOSFET and IGBT are similar to BJT.

Fig. 1.6 (a) Circuit diagram for DC input (b) Control characteristics

1.6. Types of Power Electronic Converters


Power electronic converter may be considered as a switching matrix for the control and
conversion of electric power from one form to another. Based on power conversion, the
power electronic converters are classified into six types as shown in Fig. 1.7.

Fig. 1.7 Types power electronics converter

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1.6.1. Uncontrolled (diode) rectifiers

A diode rectifier circuit converts AC voltage into fixed pulsating DC voltage whose
amplitude cant be controlled and hence the name uncontrolled rectifier. The input voltage to
the rectifier could be either single-phase or three-phase. The circuit diagram of diode rectifier
and associated waveforms are shown in Fig. 1.8.

Fig. 1.8 (a) Circuit diagram of diode rectifier (b) Waveforms of input
voltage, output voltage and output current

1.5.2. Controlled rectifiers (AC-DC converters)

A controlled rectifier circuit converts AC voltage into variable pulsating DC voltage whose
amplitude can be controlled by varying the firing angle and hence the name controlled
rectifier. The input voltage to the rectifier could be either single-phase or three-phase. The
circuit diagram of controlled rectifier and associated waveforms are shown in Fig. 1.9.

Fig. 1.9 (a) Circuit diagram of controlled rectifier (b) Waveforms of input
voltage, output voltage and output current

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

1.5.3. AC voltage controllers (AC-AC converters)

AC voltage control circuit converts fixed AC input voltage to variable AC output voltage
without changing the frequency. The output voltage is controlled by varying the firing angle
of a TRIAC (equivalent to connecting two thyristors back to back). The circuit diagram of
AC voltage controller and associated waveforms are given in Fig.1.10.

Fig. 1.10 (a) Circuit diagram of AC voltage controller (b) Waveforms of


input voltage, output voltage and output current

1.5.4. DC choppers (DC-DC converters)

DC chopper circuit converts fixed DC to variable DC. The average output voltage is
controlled by varying the conduction time of controlled power device. The circuit diagram of
DC chopper and input, output and average output voltage waveforms are shown in Fig. 1.11.

Fig. 1.11 (a) Circuit diagram of DC chopper (b) Waveforms of input


voltage and output voltage

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

1.5.5. Inverters (DC-AC converters)

Inverter circuit converts fixed DC to variable AC to vary both magnitude and frequency. The
output voltage and current is controlled by varying the conduction time of power devices
with 50% duty cycle. If Q1 and Q2 conduct for one half cycle and Q3 and Q4 conduct for
other half cycle. The circuit diagram and associated waveforms are given in Fig. 1.12.

Fig. 1.12 (a) Circuit diagram of Inverter (b) Waveforms of input voltage,
control voltage and output voltage

1.5.6. Static switches

Power devices can be used as static switches to replace relay and contactors as they are
noisy, bulky and consumes more power. The use of power devices as static switch in
uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) is shown in Fig. 1.13. In the presence of main supply
VS thyristors T1, T2, T3 and T4 conducts and T5 and T6 do not conducts to disconnect UPS
supply to the load. When VS is off thyristors T1 to T4 do not conducts and T5 and T6 conducts
to connect UPS supply to the load.

Fig. 1.13 Circuit diagram of static switches

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

1.7. Peripheral Effects


The operations of power electronic converters are mainly based on the switching of power
semiconductor devices. Due to this the converters introduce voltage and current harmonics
into the source as well as load. These harmonics can cause problems of distortion in the
output voltage and current and also electromagnetic interference with the neighboring
systems. To reduce these harmonics to an acceptable level it is necessary to introduce filters
on the input and output of the converter as shown in Fig. 1.14. To evaluate the performance
of the converter the quality of the waveform (voltage and current) needs to be measured
using factors such as total harmonic distortion (THD), harmonic factor (HF) and input power
factor (IPF). The implementation of proper control algorithm in the controller, generation of
harmonics and distortion in the output waveform can be reduced. The switching of the power
devices in power electronic converter can cause radio frequency interference due to
electromagnetic radiation as a result gating circuits may generate erroneous control signals.
This interference problem can be avoided by the use of grounded shielding.

Fig. 1.14 Power electronic converter with input and output filter
2. Power BJT

2.1. Introduction
Power BJT is a type of power transistor formed by adding one more p or n layer to a pn-
junction diode. It is a three layer, three terminal two junction device. The three layers are npn
or pnp, the three terminals are emitter, base and collector, two junctions are base-emitter
(BE) junction and collector-base (CB) junction. In majority of the applications npn transistor
is used due to its higher electron mobility compared to pnp transistor. The common-emitter
(CE) configuration of npn transistor with the polarities of all voltages and currents shown in

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

Fig.1.15 is generally used in switching applications. The polarities of all voltages and
currents for pnp transistor must be reversed.

Fig. 1.15 BJT circuit diagram

The characteristics of transistor are classified into three types (i) Steady state characteristics
(input and output) (ii) Transfer characteristics (iii) Switching characteristics.

2.2. Steady state characteristics


2.2.1. Input characteristics

Input characteristics is a graph between base current (IB) versus base-emitter voltage (VBE)
keeping collector-emitter voltage constant. The typical graph of input characteristics is
shown in Fig. 1.16.

Fig. 1.16 Input characteristics

2.2.2. Output characteristics

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

Output characteristics is a graph between collector current (IC) versus collector-emitter


voltage (VCE) keeping base current constant. The typical graph of output characteristics is
shown in Fig. 1.17.

Fig. 1.17 Output characteristics


2.3. Transfer characteristics

Transfer characteristic is a graph between collector-emitter voltage (VCE) versus base-emitter


voltage (VBE) or base current (IB). The typical graph of transfer characteristic is shown in Fig.
1.18. In cutoff region the transistor is off due to insufficient base current to turn it on and
both junctions (BE and CB) are reverse biased. In active region, as IB increases IC increases
and VCE decreases. The BE junction is forward biased and CB junction is reverse biased. In
saturation region, IB is sufficiently high and VCE is low and both junctions are forward
biased.

Fig. 1.18 Transfer characteristics

Transistor as a switch

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

In the circuit shown in Fig.1.19 the transistor is operated as a switch, which means off state
in cutoff region and on state in saturation region. In on state condition the current IB is

= (1.1)

= (1.2)
= (1.3)
Substitute Eq. (1.2) in Eq. (1.3)

= ( ) (1.4)

In the saturation region IC is almost constant and VCE=VCE(sat)


()
() = (1.5)

()
() = (1.6)

Overdrive factor (ODF): It is the ratio of IB to IB(sat)



= (1.7)
()

Forced factor (f): It is the ratio of IC(sat) to IB


()
= (1.8)

Total power loss (PT): It is the power loss in transistor due to two junctions
= () () + () (1.9)

Fig. 1.19 Transistor as switch

Problem 2.1: The BJT circuit shown in Fig. 1.19 is specified to have in the range 10 to 45,
the load resistance RC=10, VCC=200V, VBB=10V. If VCE(sat)=1V and VBE(sat)=1.5V
determine (i) RB that results in saturation with an ODF of 6 (ii) Forced factor: f (iii) Power
loss in the transistor: PT

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

() 101.5 101.5 8.5


Solution: (i) We have = = = = 11.94 = 0.7118


= From this = () = 1.996 = 11.94
()

() () 19.9
() = = = = 1.99
10

() 200 1
() = = = 19.9
10

() 19.9
(ii) We have = = 11.94 = 1.66

(iii) We have = () () + () = 119.9 + 1.511.94 = 37.81W

Problem 2.2: A transistor switch shown in Fig. 1.20 used to connect a 24V dc supply across
a relay coil which has a dc resistance of 200 , =25 to 100, VCE(sat)=0.2V, VBE(sat)=0.7V. An
input pulse of 0 to 5V with duty cycle 50% is applied to the base through RB to turn on the
transistor. Sketch the device current and diode current waveform and calculate (i) RB to
obtain an ODF of 5 (ii) IC(sat) (iii) Power loss in the transistor that occur during the saturation
state

Fig. 1.20 (a) Circuit of problem 2.2 (b) Waveforms of IC and ID

() 2.50.7 1.8
Solution: (i) We have = = = 0.0238 = 75.63

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

= () = 4.76103 5 = 0.0238

() () 0.119
() = = = = 4.76
25

() 240.2
(ii) () = = = 0.119
200

(iii) = () () + () = 0.20.119 + 0.70.0238 = 0.04046W

2.4. Switching characteristics


The switching characteristic of BJT is shown in Fig. 1.22, the control voltage VB applied to
the BJT is a rectangular waveform. In this waveform the duty cycle = t1/T, T=t1+t2, T=1/f,
f=switching frequency. To turn-on the device forward voltage VB is applied and to turn-off
the device reverse voltage VB is applied. Even after forward voltage or reverse voltage VB is
applied between base and emitter, the collector current doesnt rise or fall immediately. The
reason is that the capacitances Cbe and Cbc shown in Fig. 1.21 take some time to charge.
Different times involved in the switching action of BJT with respect to IC are defined as
follows:

(i) Delay time (td): The time taken by the IC to increase from the begging of t1 to
0.1IC(sat).
(ii) Rise time (tr): The time taken by the IC to rise from 0.1IC(sat) to 0.9IC(sat).
(iii) Turn-on time (ton): The sum of td and tr , ton=td+tr
(iv) On-time (tn): The time taken by the IC to increase from 0.9IC(sat) to IC(sat) and till the
end of t1.
(v) Storage time (ts): The time taken by the IC to decrease from IC(sat) from the beginning
of t2 to 0.9IC(sat).
(vi) Fall time (tf): The time taken by the IC to fall from 0.9IC(sat) to 0.1IC(sat).
(vii) Turn-off time (toff): The sum of ts and tf , toff=ts+tf

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

(viii) Off-time (to): The time taken by the IC to decrease from 0.1IC(sat) to till the end of t2.

Fig. 1.21 BJT circuit diagram with Cbe and Cbc

Fig. 1.22 Switching characteristics of BJT (Ideal)

Problem 2.3: The switching characteristics of the BJT shown in Fig. 1.23. The parameters
are VCC=200V, VCE(sat)=2V, ICEO=2.5mA, IC(sat)=80A, VBE(sat)=2.5V, IB=8A, td=0.4s,
tr=0.9s, ts=5s, tf=3.2s, duty cycle ()=50% and switching frequency (f) is (i) f =10KHz,
(ii) f =100KHz, ts=2.5s, tf=2s. Sketch the instantaneous power curve due to collector
current and determine (a) Average power loss (PAVIC) due to collector current (b) Average
power loss (PAVIB) due to base current (c) Total average power loss (PTAV) (d) Total energy
(ET).

Solution: (i) f=10KHz T=1/f=1/10KHz=100s, t1= T=50s=t2

Power loss due to IC

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

Power loss due to td (Ptd): Ptd = 0.5(td/T)=0.002W

Power loss due to tr (Ptr): Ptr = (2/3)4000(tr/T)=24W

Power loss due to tn (Ptn): Ptn = 160(tn/T)=77.92W, tn=t1-(td+tr)= 50s-(1.3s)=48.7s

Power loss due to ts (Pts): Pts = 160(ts/T)=8W

Power loss due to tr (Ptf): Ptf = (2/3)4000(tf/T)=85.33W

Power loss due to to (Pto): Pto = 0.5(to/T)=0.209W, to=t2-(ts+tf)= 50s-(8.2s)=41.8s

PAVIC= Ptd+Ptr+Ptn+Pts+Ptf+Pto=195.461W

Power loss due to IB

PAVIB=VBE(sat)IB(t1/T)=10W

Total average power loss

PTAV= PAVIC+PAVIB =205.461W

Total energy loss

ET=( PTAV)(T)=0.0205J

(ii) f=100KHz T=1/f=1/100KHz=10s, t1= T=5s=t2

Power loss due to IC

Power loss due to td (Ptd): Ptd = 0.5(td/T)=0.02W

Power loss due to tr (Ptr): Ptr = (2/3)4000(tr/T)=240W

Power loss due to tn (Ptn): Ptn = 160(tn/T)=59.2W, tn=t1-(td+tr)= 5s-(1.3s)=3.7s

Power loss due to ts (Pts): Pts = 160(ts/T)=40W

Power loss due to tr (Ptf): Ptf = (2/3)4000(tf/T)=533.33W

Power loss due to to (Pto): Pto = 0.5(to/T)=0.025W, to=t2-(ts+tf)= 5s-(4.5s)=0.5s

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

PAVIC= Ptd+Ptr+Ptn+Pts+Ptf+Pto=872.575W

Power loss due to IB

PAVIB=VBE(sat)IB(t1/T)=10W

Total average power loss PTAV= PAVIC+PAVIB =882.575W

Total energy loss ET=( PTAV)(T)=8.82575mJ

Fig. 1.23 Switching characteristics of BJT (Practical)


2.5. Switching limits
The factors that limit the switching speed of the transistors are explained as follows

2.3.1. Breakdown voltages

A breakdown voltage in BJT is the maximum voltage between two terminals keeping the
third terminal open or shorted or biased either in forward or reverse direction. At breakdown
the voltage remains constant but the current rises rapidly. Different breakdown voltages are
explained below.

VCEO: The maximum voltage between collector and emitter with base terminal open
circuited.

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

VBEO: The maximum voltage between base and emitter with collector terminal open
circuited.

VCEV (VCEX): The maximum voltage between collector and emitter with negative voltage
applied between base and emitter terminal.

2.3.2. Forward biased safe operating area (FBSOA)

FBSOA indicates the limits of collector current (IC) and collector-emitter voltage (VCE)
during turn-on and on state condition.

2.3.3. Reverse biased safe operating area (RBSOA)

RBSOA indicates the limits of collector current (IC) and collector-emitter voltage (VCE)
during turn-off and off state condition. In Fig.1.24 both FBSOA and RBSOA are indicated.

Fig. 1.24 FBSOA and RBSOA

2.3.4. Secondary breakdown

Secondary breakdown is destructive phenomenon caused by defect in the transistor structure,


due to which collector current flow into the small portion of base, producing localized hot
spots. The transistor may damage if the energy in these hot spots is excessive. This
breakdown occurs at certain voltage, current and time.

2.3.5. Power derating

The maximum power dissipation (PT) in a transistor is normally specified at case temperature
TC=250C. If the ambient temperature (TA) is increased to maximum junction temperature
(TJ), the transistor can dissipate zero power. In contrast to this if TC=00C the transistor can

Dr. Sreenivasappa B. V. Dept. of ECE, NMIT, Bangalore 24


UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

dissipate maximum power and this is not practical. Hence, TA and thermal resistances (RXX
where XX=JC-junction to case, CS-case to sink, SA-sink to ambient) must be considered
while deciding the ratings of the transistor.

Fig. 1.25 Power derating

2.6. Base-drive control


Base-drive control is a technique adopted to increase the switching speed of the transistor by
reducing turn-on and turn-off time. This can be done using base current peaking during turn-
on and turn-off time as shown in Fig. 1.25.

Fig. 1.25 Base current peaking

Base-drive control technique is classified into four types as follows

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

a. Turn-on control
b. Turn-off control
c. Proportional control
d. Anti-saturation control (Bakers clamp control)

a. Turn-on control

Turn-on control circuit shown in Fig. 1.26 is used to reduce turn-on time of a transistor.
When the input voltage VBB of magnitude V1 is applied to turn-on the transistor, the base
current is limited by R1 and if the initial voltage across the capacitor is zero then initial base
current is


0 = (1.10)
1
0 =

Fig. 1.26 Turn-on control


When the capacitor C1 charges up to a final value then the final value of the base current is

1 = 1 + 2
(1.11)
1 =
The voltage across C1 is
1
1 = 2 2 = 2 (1.12)
1 + 2
The charging time constant of C1 is
1 = 1 1 (1.13)
Once VBB becomes zero, C1 discharges through R2 and the discharging time constant of C1 is
2 = 2 1 (1.14)
To provide sufficient time for the capacitor to charge and discharge the on-period t1 of the
base pulse must be

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

1 51 (1.15)
The off-period t2 must be
2 52 (1.16)
The switching frequency is
1 1 1 0.2
= = ( = (5 = ( (1.17)
1 +2 ) 1 +52 ) 1 +2 )
b. Turn-off control

Turn-off control circuit shown in Fig. 1.27 is used to reduce turn-off time of a transistor.
When the input voltage VBB of magnitude -V1 is applied to turn-off the transistor, the voltage
across capacitor -VC1 is added to -V1. The base current IB2 limited by R1 and R2 is


2 = (1.18)
1 +2

To keep storage time ts under control 2 < 1 to achieve this it is necessary to reduce base
current during turn-off. This can be achieved by connecting a resistor R3 in series, then the
base current IB2 is


2 = (1.19)
+
1 2 +3

Fig. 1.27 Turn-off control

A common circuit as shown in Fig. 1.28 and an alternate circuit shown in Fig. 1.29 can used
to achieve both turn-on and turn-off control. Diode D isolates turn-on and turn-off control
circuits, it is on during turn-on and off during turn-off.

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

Fig. 1.28 Turn-on and Turn-off control

Fig. 1.29 Turn-on and Turn-off control (alternate circuit)

c. Proportional control

Another common circuit used to reduce both turn-on and turn-off time is proportional control
circuit shown in Fig. 1.30. In addition to the above, this control technique changes the
magnitude of base current in proportion to the change in collector current due to load
demand. In the circuit arrangement the number turns in primary of a transformer is N3 and in
secondary is N1. An inductor coil of turns N2 is connected in series with RC to vary IC in
proportion to IB.

The relation between turns ratio and is


= = 2 (1.20)
1

Dr. Sreenivasappa B. V. Dept. of ECE, NMIT, Bangalore 28


UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

Fig. 1.30 Proportional base control

d. Anti-saturation control

In order to reduce turn-on time if a transistor is operated in hard saturation using maximum
base current, the storage time which is proportional to base current increases and the
switching speed is reduced during turn-off time. The storage time can be reduced by
operating transistor in soft saturation which means reducing base current. This can be
achieved by reducing collector current and to collector current collector-emitter voltage
needs to be increased. The process of increasing collector-emitter voltage is called clamping
the collector-emitter voltage or anti-saturation control (soft saturation) and the circuit is also
known as Bakers clamp circuit. In Fig. 1.31 diode D2 is used to clamp VCE and is known as
clamping diode. For clamping to take place VD1>VD2 and hence it is required to connect one
more diode in series with D1.

Fig. 1.31 Anti-saturation control

Dr. Sreenivasappa B. V. Dept. of ECE, NMIT, Bangalore 29


UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

IC and VCE without connecting clamping diode are as follows


IC = IL = IB (1.21)
VBB VD1 VBE
IB = I1 = (1.22)
R1

VCE = VCC IC R C = VCC IL R C


IC and VCE with connecting clamping diode are as follows

VD2 + VCE(clamp) = VD1 + VBE

VCE(clamp) = VBE + VD1 VD2 (1.23)

IC(clamp) = IB = (I1 I2 ) = (I1 (IC(clamp) IL )) = I1 IC(clamp) + IL



IC(clamp) = (1+) (I1 + IL ) (1.24)

VCC VCE(clamp)
IL = RC

VCC (VBE +VD1 VD2 )


IL = (1.25)
RC

VBB VD1 VBE


I1 = (1.26)
R1

Problem 2.6.1: Clamping circuit shown in Fig. 1.31 has VCC=100V, VBB=10V, R1=47,
RC=47, VBE=2.5V, VD1=0.9V, VD2=0.7V, =16. Determine IC and VCE with and without
clamping diode.
Solution:
IC and VCE without clamping diode

IC = IL = IB = 2.2464A
VBB VD1 VBE
IB = I1 = = 0.1404
R1

VCE = VCC IC R C = VCC IL R C = 5.5808V


IC and VCE with clamping diode

VCE(clamp) = VBE + VD1 VD2 = 2.7V


IC(clamp) = (1+) (I1 + IL ) = 2.0805A
VCC (VBE +VD1 VD2 )
IL = = 2.0702V
RC
VBB VD1 VBE
I1 = = 0.1404
R1

Dr. Sreenivasappa B. V. Dept. of ECE, NMIT, Bangalore 30


UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

Problem 2.6.2: The anti-saturation control circuit has VCC=100V, R1=47, RC=47, VBE=2.5V,
VD1=0.7V, VD2=0.9V, =16. Determine IC and VCE with and without clamping diode.
Solution: For clamping to take place VD1>VD2 and hence it is required to connect one more
diode in series with D1. Therefore VD1=1.4V

IC and VCE without clamping diode

IC = IL = IB = 2.2464A
VBB VD1 VBE
IB = I1 = = 0.1297
R1

VCE = VCC IC R C = VCC IL R C = 5.5808V


IC and VCE with clamping diode

VCE(clamp) = VBE + VD1 VD2 = 3V


IC(clamp) = (1+) (I1 + IL ) = 2.0644A
VCC (VBE +VD1 VD2 )
IL = = 2.0638V
RC

VBB VD1 VBE


I1 = = 0.1297
R1

2.7. Introduction to IGBTs


Insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) combines the best qualities of BJT (low voltage drop
in the on state) and MOSFET (switching speed is high). The basic structure, equivalent
circuit and symbol are shown in Fig. 1.32. An IGBT is made of four alternate PNPN layers
and could latch like a SCR given the necessary condition (PNP+ NPN)>1. If N+ buffer layer
is present in the structure then it is called punch through otherwise non-punch through IGBT.

Fig. 1.32 (a) Basic structure (b) Equivalent circuit (c) Symbol

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UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

2.8. Isolation of base and gate drives


Driver: The logic level control pulses generated from control circuits may or may not
sufficient to turn-on and turn-off the power device. If the logic level is not sufficient then
driver circuit is essential. Driver circuit is the interface between control circuit and power
device that converts logic levels of lower amplitude to a logic levels required to drive the
power device. In addition to this driver circuit provides electrical isolation between control
circuits and power converter if required.

The important design considerations one should see while designing a driver circuits are (i)
low cost (ii) should take minimum turn-on and turn-off time (iii) should provide enough
drive power when power device is in on condition (iv) when power device is in off condition
driver circuit should not generate transient signals due to the switching of the other power
devices.

Isolation: As the name itself suggest, one part of the circuit is isolated electrically from the
other part of the circuit. In power electronics the control circuit works at lower voltages and
currents (low power) and the power converter works at higher voltages and currents (high
power). The control circuits are easily damaged if exposed to high power. Hence, isolation is
necessary between control circuit and power converter to protect control circuit from high
power.

There are two ways of isolation (i) Pulse transformers (ii) Optocouplers

2.8.1. Pulse transformers


Pulse transformers are used to isolate square waves and the pulses of short duration. If used
to isolate relatively long pulses and low switching frequency it may saturate and produce
distorted output. Pulse transformers have one primary winding and one or more secondary
windings and used between control circuit and power converter as shown in Fig. 1.33.

Dr. Sreenivasappa B. V. Dept. of ECE, NMIT, Bangalore 32


UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

Fig. 1.33 Pulse transformer between control


circuit and power converter

2.8.2. Optocouplers
Optocoupler is used as an isolator between control circuit and the driver circuit is shown in
Fig. 1.34. It consists of infrared light emitting diode (IRLED) and a phototransistor, during
on period of the control pulse with voltage V1 IRLED conducts and turns on phototransistor
and the output pulse of optocoupler is with voltage V2 which is sufficient to turn-on power
device. During off period of the control pulse IRLED do not conduct, it turns-off
phototransistor and the output pulse of optocoupler is zero and the power device is off.

Fig. 1.34 Optocoupler between control


circuit and power converter

Dr. Sreenivasappa B. V. Dept. of ECE, NMIT, Bangalore 33


UNIT I Introduction and Power BJTs

Questions

1. What is power electronics? Write the advantages, disadvantages and applications of


power electronics?
2. Describe power electronic system with its general block diagram?
3. With circuit diagram and waveforms explain the control characteristics of (i) SCR (ii)
GTO (iii) MOSFET
4. What is the significance of control signal with respect to power semiconductor devices?
5. Mention different types of power electronic converters? Write input and output
waveforms for each type?
6. Explain the peripheral effects caused by power electronic converter?
7. What is the necessity of base drive control? Explain various methods of base drive
control in BJT?
8. Discuss the needs and methods for providing isolation of gate/base circuit from power
circuit with necessary circuit diagrams?
9. What is secondary breakdown and power derating in BJT?
10. Draw the cross section and equivalent circuit of IGBT and explain its important features?
11. Draw and explain switching characteristics of power BJT?
12. For a power transistor typical switching parameters are given as follows: VCC=200V,
VCES=1.5V, ICS=100A, td=0.5s, tr=10 s, tn=50 s, ts=2 s, tf=1 s, to=30 s, f=10KHz,
ICEO=1mA. Find (i) Average power loss due to collector during ton (ii) Peak
instantaneous power loss due to collector current during ton.
13. The IGBT has the following data ton=3 s, toff=1.5 s, D=0.7, VCE(sat)=2V, fs=1KHz.
Determine (i) Average load current (ii) conduction power loss (iii) switching power loss
during ON and OFF period.
14. Write a note on anti-saturation control?

Dr. Sreenivasappa B. V. Dept. of ECE, NMIT, Bangalore 34