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Auxiliary subsystems of a General-Purpose IGBT Stack for high-performance laboratory power converters

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A PWM converter is the prime component in many power electronic applications such as static UPS, electric motor drives, power quality conditioners and renewable-energy-based power generation systems. While there are a number of computer simulation tools available today for studying power electronic systems, the value added by the experience of building a power converter and controlling it to function as desired is unparalleled. A student, in the process, not only understands power electronic concepts better, but also gains insights into other essential engineering aspects of auxiliary subsystems such as start-up, sensing, protection, circuit layout design, mechanical arrangement and system integration. Higher levels of protection features are critical for the converters used in a laboratory environment, as advanced protection schemes could prevent unanticipated failures occurring during the course of research. This paper presents a laboratory-built General-Purpose IGBT Stack (GPIS), which facilitates students to practically realize different power converter topologies. Essential subsystems for a complete power converter system is presented covering details of semiconductor device driving, sensing circuit, protection mechanism, system start-up, relaying and critical PCB layout design, followed by a brief comparison to commercially available IGBT stacks. The results show the high performance that can be obtained by the GPIS converter.

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The authors would like to thank CPRI, Ministry of Power, Government of India, under the project Power conversion, control and protection technologies for microgrid, for their financial support in this work.

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Correspondence to Anil Kumar Adapa.

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Adapa, A.K., Venkatramanan, D. & John, V. Auxiliary subsystems of a General-Purpose IGBT Stack for high-performance laboratory power converters. Sādhanā 42, 1355–1362 (2017).

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