Power electronic building blocks

With the advent of high performance digital controllers, the time and effort to implement new control algorithms for the control of power electronic converters have decreased drastically. Nevertheless, the design and the practical implementation of power electronic converters, intended for testing new control algorithms, are still complicated and time-consuming activities.
Therefore, a fully equipped half bridge test platform was designed ready to use as a fundamental building block for various converter types. The test platform incorporates fault protection, measurements of well-selected voltages and currents, and is directly interfacable with most digital and analogue controllers. Due to these features and the flexibility of the board, this half bridge converter can be used for research as well as for educational purposes in applications ranging from a simple 100 W buck converter up to 10 kW inverters for motor control. Fig. 1 shows a picture of two building blocks, employed as a full-bridge converter.


Recently, a new version of this building block was developed. The new board offers more flexibility in converter topologies. Just like the first platform, it contains two switches in a half bridge configuration, though the switches can be disconnected in order to build topologies with separate switches. This allows the use of the platform in multilevel converters (neutral point clamped as well as flying capacitor) and in drives for switched reluctance machines. In the new building block, the power circuit is completely isolated from the measurement and protection circuit.