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EMC challenges in power electronics

Feature

Professor Dr Bernd Deutschmann, Dr Bernhard Auinger, Michael Fuchs and Lukas Pichler, Institute of Electronics, Graz University of Technology, and Dr Markus Herdin, Rohde & Schwarz

State-of-the-art power electronics poses new challenges for science and industry. The introduction of wide‑bandgap semiconductor materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) has enabled higher switching frequencies as well as considerably greater edge steepness. While increasing the efficiency of switched‑mode power supply (SMPS) units, these higher switching frequencies can increase unwanted, high‑frequency interference propagated along connecting cables or emitted as electromagnetic waves. With suitable equipment, such as high-performance oscilloscopes, important analyses and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) optimisation can be performed on the lab bench during the early stages of device development.

The Institute of Electronics (IFE) at the Graz University of Technology is conducting research into the power electronics circuit design with respect to spurious emissions, including the optimisation of gate-drive signals, identification of weak points in the layout and the influence of active and passive components. The objective is to develop a simulation software that automatically proposes changes to the circuit design with a view to reducing the spurious emissions.

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