Blue Box Practice

Over the two summers of 2002 and 2003, the equipment used in ECE469, Power Electronics Laboratory, was upgraded. The first project was to replace the existing FET boxes. The old boxes contained one FET and one diode with uncommitted power terminals. The new box contains two of each. Flexible controls allow each FET to be switched in one of three ways to realize a variety of dc-dc, dc-ac, and ac-ac converter topologies including synchronous rectification. The second project was to replace the existing SCR boxes. Each box contains three SCRs with uncommitted power terminals. The phase-control algorithm used is adaptable to a range of frequencies and power sources. The new FET boxes were rolled out for the Fall ’02 semester, then upgraded for Fall ’03, while the SCR boxes were rolled out for the Fall ’03 semester. Additional projects included a simple analog PWM amplifier, used as a demonstration since Fall ’03, and a simple brushless dc (BLDC) drive/dynamometer set for ECE431, Electric Machinery, rolled out in Spring ’04. 


During the summer of 2002, Robert Balog designed new FET Control Boxes for laboratory use, with the assistence Andrew Niemerg (BSEE ’02), Brian Raczkowski (BSEE ’03, MSEE), and Nathan Brown (BSEE ’04).


From April to September 2003, Zakdy Sorchini and Jonathan Kimball designed new SCR boxes for laboratory use, with Yong Chen’s assistance.

Analog PWM Amplifier

The primary end application is ECE469, Power Electronics Lab, a senior-level lab course at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

BLDC Drive and Dyno

From October 2003 to March 2004, Jonathan Kimball designed new brushless dc (BLDC) drives for laboratory use; assembly was performed by Yongxiang Chen, Alicia Shepherd, and Nathan Brown.