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Spurred on by technological progress and a growing concern about the efficient use of depleting energy resources, static power electronic converters employing advanced semi-conductor devices are currently used in an increasing number of applications. Such applications range from low power converters for miliwatt applications to converters for high-voltage dc transmission systems, handling hundreds of mega-watts.
Other classical applications include adjustable-speed ac and dc drives for use in industry, switch-mode power supplies, audio amplifiers, uninterruptible power supplies and welding machines. In the last decade, power electronics and electrical drives have deeply penetrated the renewable energy sector.
Today, power electronic converters provide vital functionality in a diversity of new technologies, including large wind turbine systems, fuel cells systems and photo-voltaic power generation. Further, motor drives comprising power electronic converters and advanced electric machines play a key role in the transportation sector, where new technologies are exploited in order to electrify many kinds of vehicle.
Description of Study Programme
On the MSc specialisation in Power Electronics and Drives (PED), you will study efficient and intelligent energy conversion employing power electronic technology and electrical machines. You are going to study these topics analytically, numerically and experimentally in an innovative research environment.
This specialisation combines state-of-the-art technologies with conventional technologies, for example power semiconductor devices, electronics, electro-magnetics, digital signal processors, control theory, EMC and energy technology.
The themes for the study in Power Electronics and Drives provide you with in-depth understanding of the technologies and scientific disciplines involved in electric energy conversion by means of power electronic converters and electric machines.
Moreover, the PED specialisation offers core competences in power electronic converters, electrical machines and control engineering. The objective of this international program is to provide you with the ability to model, analyse, synthesize and develop PED systems. We also focus on how power electronics and drives interact with externally connected components or systems. Hence, upon completion of this programme, you are well-fitted for applying for a long range of jobs.
The objectives of the Power Electronics and Drives MSc syllabus are to provide you with:
- Detailed understanding of the operation, function and interaction between various components and sub-systems used in power electronic converters, electric machines and adjustable-speed drives
- Knowledge enabling design, modelling, simulation and synthesis of power converter-based systems used for conversion of electric energy
- Experience in design of controllers for PED systems using classical and modern control theory
- Experience in the practical implementation of controllers using for example digital signal processors
- To enable you to develop, construct, operate and test power electronic converters and drives in the laboratory
Experimental work plays a key role in the syllabus. A large, well-equipped laboratory is available, offering you excellent opportunities for constructing and testing prototypes of electronic systems and electric machines. Facilities for testing power electronic components, converters and high power systems are also at your disposal.
You will study topics like
- How do we ensure production using the lowest possible energy consumption?
- Should future electrical vehicles be driven by a permanent magnet motor or an induction motor?
- Which kind of generator provides the highest efficiency in a given application?
- How does the drive system in a production process influence the production quality?
- How do we produce an electric motor with a high efficiency adapted to a production process?
During the MSc programme in Power Electronics and Drives (PED), you will primarily study electric drive systems and achieve a high level of competence in the field of generators, power electronics, control systems, and integration of drive systems in transport and industry. Career opportunities include R&D departments in major companies working with transformation of electrical energy to mechanical energy and vice-versa.
The teaching of the programme is carried out in an innovative, dynamic and challenging environment through a combination of research-based courses, team-based project work and a high degree of interaction with industrial partners and energy supply companies. The companies take an active part in providing project proposals for the problem-oriented project work, guest lectures and visits to the companies.
The teaching is carried out in English because many international students are enrolled in the study programme.Content of Study Programme
This semester is common for the three electrical specialisations in Energy Engineering, Electrical Power Systems and High Voltage Engineering (EPSH), Power Electronics and Drives (PED) and Wind Power Systems (WPS). For students with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree from Aalborg University, the credit of the project work is 15 ECTS, whereas it is 10 ECTS (INTRO project) for students with a BSc degree from another university.
The projects' technical topics are identical, but students from another university have one extra course, which includes theory of Problem Based Learning (PBL). This method is the primary teaching method used at Aalborg University, and it is applied in all projects. The documentation of the project work is also different:
Students with a BSc degree from Aalborg University should:
- Document the project work by a paper, a poster and a presentation at an internal conference (CES) together with an appendix report, all in English.
Students with a BSc degree from another university should:
- Document the project work by a project report written in English.
Click for details of projects and courses on Power Electronics and Drives (PED).
1st Semester Project for Students with a BSc Degree from Aalborg University: Dynamics in Electrical Energy Engineering
On this semester, focus is on a problem where the dynamics of an electrical energy system or electrical apparatus must be analysed. This problem may, for instance, be in the subject area of electrical power systems, electrical drive systems, wind power systems or a combination of these. In such systems, short circuits, starting procedures, control issues, etc. demand that the dynamic performance of the systems must be studied. The chosen system must be analysed and modelled. Finally, some experimental verification of the system, a model of the system or parts of the system should be carried out in the laboratory.
- Use of the induction machine as drive on an electric vehicle
- Non-linear model of 3-phase distribution transformer
- Model of grid connected wind turbine generator
1st Semester INTRO Project for Students with a BSc Degree form Another University than Aalborg University: Problem-based Project-organised Learning in Dynamics in Electrical Energy Engineering
The purpose of this semester is to give the students a comprehension of the Problem-Based Learning method applied at Aalborg University. Focus is to give the students experience in carrying out project work in connection with problems in the subject area of electrical energy engineering. The students will write a project report documenting their project work. Knowledge will be given to students in subject areas related to the chosen specialisation. The technical problem for this semester is the dynamics of an electrical energy system or electrical apparatus. This problem may for instance be in the subject area of electrical power systems, electrical drive systems, wind power systems or a combination of these. In such systems, short circuits, starting procedures, control issues, etc. demand that the dynamic performance of the systems must be studied. The chosen system must be analysed and modelled. Finally, some experimental verification of the system, a model of the system or parts of the system should be carried out in the laboratory.
The assessment of the INTRO semester project is a stop-test. It is a precondition that this project is passed to be able to continue on to the 2nd semester of the MSc study.
- Characterisation of photovoltaic panels
- Improvements to the domestic energy supply wind energy, solar energy, or UPS apparatus
- Electric bicycle for indoors use
2nd semester: Control of Converter-fed AC Drives
2nd semester projects will study modelling, analysis, simulation and control of an electric system which must include a power electronic converter and an electric machine. The system being studied will be described using a dynamic model and analysed in order to design a suitable digital controller for the whole or parts of the system. Dynamic interaction between the different parts of the system will be studied. All, or parts of the system, will be built and tested in the laboratory, including real-time implementation of controllers in e.g. digital signal processors, to provide verification of the models used.
- Wide-bandwidth current control of PWM inverter-fed induction motor drive with LC filter
- Sensorless control of a brushless motor drive system
- Energy efficient control of permanent-magnet motor for electric vehicle
- Control of wide-bandwidth actuator for application in robotics
3rd semester: Optimisation, Diagnosis and Control of Power Electronic Drives or Converters
The objective of this semester is to strengthen skills related to design of power electronic converters and systems. The project should be based upon a power electronic drive or a converter system to which an optimisation, control or diagnostic system is to be set up. First, the system is analysed and modelled and then different system identification methods can, for instance, be applied to determine the parameters of the system. The system model is verified by simulations and data time series from either a real system or a laboratory set-up. Based on the set-up model, the optimisation, control or diagnostic system is set up to improve the performance of the system, either with regard to the power output, the energy efficiency, the life time extraction, fault detections or alike and the system, or parts hereof, should be implemented and verified experimentally in the laboratory.
To practice scientific communication skills, the project result, or parts of it, must be published in an article written in English. This article is to be presented at an internal seminar (CES).
Courses are offered of which 10 ECTS are to be chosen. The courses may vary from year to year, depending on the number of students of the various specialisations, the on-going projects and the research performed at the Department of Energy Technology. Further, courses from other universities might be used as elective courses. However, the two following courses are always available:
- Neural network and Fuzzy logic - 5 ECTS
- System identification and diagnosis 5 ECTS
4th Semester Masters Thesis in Power Electronics and Drives
The Masters Thesis may study new subjects or be an extension of the project work of previous semesters. The subject matter will remain in the area of power electronics and drives. The project may be of theoretical or experimental nature, and will often be in collaboration with an industrial company or other research institution performing research in the area of power electronics and drives. Alternatively, it may support one or more research projects at the Department of Energy Technology. Often, students write scientific papers reporting the work of their Master's Thesis. As courses are not normally offered on this semester, the entire semester is dedicated to the thesis work.
Examples of Master's Theses:
- Single-stage three-phase solar cell power electronic converter
- High-efficiency magnetic gear box with a high gearing ratio
- Design of power electronic grid interface system for large-scale wind turbines
- Sensor-less control of a permanent magnet motor drive using signal injection techniques
At the Department of Energy Technology, you will find a lot of well-equipped and modern test laboratories enabling you to carry out exciting laboratory experiments. These tests will verify the theoretical analysis, which you apply during the project work. The laboratories make it possible to perform realistic tests within the power electronic and electrical machine area, and they include advanced computer-based measurement and control facilities. Furthermore, the majority of the project work is carried out in cooperation with the industry, giving you the possibility to do some of the project work in a company. The companies will come up with project proposals and provide equipment or data for the project work.