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Research Laboratories

Grainger Power Electronics Teaching Laboratory
There is a rapidly growing demand towards power electronic converters/systems in different high-tech applications. These applications include the well-known switching power supplies, personal computers, UPS systems, modern industrial automation systems, home appliances, and flexible AC transmission systems. They also include some less well-known applications such as robotics, telecommunication systems, electronic drives, VLSI, active filters, computerized control systems, electric and hybrid electric vehicles, and cordless drives.

The impetus towards this expansion of power electronics has been provided by recent advancements in the areas of semiconductor switching devices, control electronics, and advanced microcontrollers and digital signal processors (DSP). In fact, these advancements facilitate high-tech applications and enable the introduction of power electronic converters with highest performance, maximum efficiency, and minimum volume and weight.

At Illinois Institute of Technology, in order to provide state-of-the-art courses and laboratories in electrical and computer engineering, we have established the Grainger Power Electronics Laboratory with the support of a generous gift from the Grainger Foundation, which is gratefully acknowledged. In addition, in the academic year 2003/2004, we have improved this laboratory and added three new experiments based on the NSF DUE-0311169 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The three new experiments (#12-14) have been adapted and implemented from the exemplary materials, laboratory experiences, and educational practices that had been developed and proven successful at the University of Minnesota under the NSF CCLI-EMD-9952704 grant, which is gratefully acknowledged.

Facilities of this laboratory are advanced specialized experimental teaching setups for undergraduate power electronic programs. Therefore, this laboratory is one of the best-equipped and most advanced labs for undergraduate teaching purposes in the nation. In fact, few universities have equipment of this sophistication for their teaching laboratories.

This lab consists of 14 experiments and one major design experience. The laboratory experiments give simple practical introduction to operation and control of electronic switching circuits. They are done in groups of 2-3 students. This lab assumes that the student is familiar with general circuit analysis techniques. Therefore, it is appropriate for junior- or senior-level undergraduate electrical engineering and computer engineering students. It is also recommended as an elective course for all ECE students.

2005 Electric Power and Power Electronics Center at Illinois Institute of Technology
3301 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60616-3793
Updated on May 26, 2006