Power electronics is a combination of two main branches of engineering i.e. power and electronics engineering. Power engineering deals with the generation, transmission, distribution, and utilization of electric energy at high power level whereas electronic engineering deals with the production, transmission, and reception of signals & data at low power level.
Power engineering machines/apparatus are mainly based on electromagnetic principle whereas electronics engineering devices are based upon the phenomenon occurring in semiconductors, vacuum, etc.
Power electronics referred to that field of study which applies the application of electronic principles into situations that are rated at high power level rather than the signal level (low power level).
Example: semiconductor power switches like SCR, thyristors, MCT, GTO’s, etc. work on the principle of electronics (movement of electrons and holes) but have high power ratings.
The block diagram below shows the components of a power electronics system and how they are interlinked.
Power Electronics system converts electrical energy from one form to another and ensure the following is achieved
- Maximum efficiency
- Maximum reliability
- Maximum availability
- Minimum cost
- Least weight
- Small size