Ever since its invention, electricity plays a vital role in our everyday lives. With an increasing focus on electrification for a cleaner environment, different forms of generating electricity have emerged to fulfill the need for electric power.
Did you ever give a thought about how 240 Volt AC supply at our home charges a 5V battery of one’s mobile phone, or how a DC power from renewable sources like solar, wind and water, etc., can supply the AC power to cater to one’s domestic needs?
Delving a little deeper, we will unravel a circuit where electronic devices play an integral role in making these things happen. These circuits and devices come under the radar of power electronics, an emerging science field relevant to both power engineers and electronics engineers alike.
The Role of Power electronics though underestimated forms a huge part of our daily lives. Ranging from AC to DC converters and vice versa, electrical motors, mechanical actuators, electromagnetic devices, control systems, and many more come under this field.
Focussing on this underappreciated field and the Role of Power electronics in our everyday life, let’s understand a bit more about power electronics and its applications in real-time.
Exploring Power Electronics
Moving towards a smart community consisting of elements of IoT, AI, automation, etc., the need for power generation, either using traditional methods or sustainable means, comes up as the first requirement to get the work started. And this is where the Role of Power electronics comes into play.
Power electronics can be defined as a common branch of electrical as well as electronics engineering that deals with the processing of high voltages and currents to deliver power. Ranging from home based electronics to equipment’s used in space applications, all of these areas need a stable and reliable electric power with specific specifications.
While dealing with power generation, especially in the case of renewable energy, the generated power must be processed to meet the AC voltage specification of that particular power grid.
Apart from this, the conversion of this DC power to AC power should be with higher efficiency to minimize any losses in power generation. All of this is made possible using power semiconductor devices with advanced control mechanisms that monitor the output and input parameters as well as control the switches.
Role of Power Electronics
The Role of Power electronics forms a significant part in many devices and systems in one or more of their phases. Power electronics convert electrical energy of one form into another with different features and are used to drive any device requiring an input of electric power other than that supplied by the primary source.
Though that is just the technical explanation of engineering, Role of Power electronics is much deeper to understand. As we dive a little deeper into the concept of this field, we will discover a whole new world of various semiconductor devices that are powered by power electronics.
With the world still reciprocating from the aftereffects of COVID-19, we are seeing just how important the role of power electronics is along with the engineers and the technology they engineer.
Moving the ladder up from power generation to transportation and communication technologies to kitchen appliances, the Role of Power electronics and its engineers are behind every one of these electronic devices.
Real-Time Applications of Power Electronics
The application of power electronics can be considered a little overwhelming and the list endless as we discover the various parts it plays. But to get a basic idea here are some of the most common and popular uses of power electronics:
Electric Power Systems: Considering the connection between the worlds of electric power systems and power electronics, it is quite robust as both worlds depend on each other.
Role of Power electronics can be made out from the fact that it has steadily become an intimate element of power systems that provides improved quality, performance, and promotes the progressive materialization of smarter and more efficient energy.
Electric Motor Drives: Electric motors either AC or DC play an integral role in flourishing the power for domestic and industrial applications, thus cementing the solid Role of Power electronics in this industry.
Role of Power electronics can be measured by the fact that it help in controlling electric motors, with the additional advantage of greater system efficiency and reliability. A motor drive normally consists of an electric motor, a power electronic converter, and a speed and position sensor.
Energy Storage and Renewable Energy: Gaining popularity for its sustainable nature, equipment operating on photovoltaic, thermoelectric, fuel-cell, or magneto-hydrodynamic principles essentially consist of high-current, low voltage DC devices.
Storage technologies generally employ various power electronics devices to invert DC into stable-frequency AC, acceptable for insertion into grids at high power levels.
Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Battery Technology: Switching of the automotive industry towards EV and HEVs, requires a big Role of Power electronics that is fundamental for the electric power industry to manage these new brands of vehicles.
Indian Market Scenario and its Future
Despite possessing one of the largest markets of electronic devices consumption, India is lagging a great deal in the manufacturing sectors of the power electronics market. India’s export values of electronics parts and devices are nowhere in regards to its neighbor manufacturing hub China. But with consistent initiatives taken by the government as well as the setting up of many manufacturing sites in recent years, we are seeing a great overturn of export trades increasing. With the steady increase in manufacturing facilities, India will soon show its full potential in raising the power electronics market soon.