Power Electronics

PE Technology Defines Industry

Power Electronics Technology covers power electronics in greater detail and more frequently than other monthly trade publications. This editorial coverage defines power electronics.

Power electronics: As a subsystem, power electronics controls power applied to an electronic load, which can be a motor, lamp, resistor, or other electronic subsystem, etc. Its power handling capability can range from milliwatts to megawatts, from less than a volt to thousands of volts, and from milliamperes to thousands of amperes. Most of these subsystems convert power or energy from one form to another. This includes power supplies (ac to dc, dc to dc, ac to ac, and dc to ac), motor drives (ac or dc to motion), lamp drivers (ac or dc to illumination), heating/cooling systems (ac or dc to heating/cooling), and photovoltaic systems (light to dc).

Batteries, ac power lines, fuel cells, photovoltaic cells, and generators are just a few of the power sources involved in power electronic subsystems. There are active components that include discrete power semiconductors, power modules, and ICs. Passive components include capacitors, resistors, inductors, and transformers. Among the associated power electronic subsystems are sensors and test equipment. Rounding out the components are thermal management products, interconnection devices, and miscellaneous hardware.

These subsystems can be found in virtually every piece of industrial, commercial, and consumer electronic equipment, such as computers, transportation systems, entertainment systems, factory automation systems, medical, and military/aerospace systems.

Our definition of power electronics has supported development of the power electronics industry for the past 26 years. Power Electronics Technology (formerly PCIM Power Electronic Systems, PCIM, Power Conversion International, and Solid State Power Conversion) has provided monthly coverage of this electronic application segment. Our mission is to continue providing power electronics engineers with design-oriented information that allows them to initiate new designs, improve existing designs, and gain an understanding of design principles and future trends. This information enables engineers to do a better job and enhance their reputations in the field of power electronics.

Editorial coverage combines both practical and theoretical content that appeals to design, development, application, and system engineers. This balance resists overwhelming the reader with esoteric equations or verbiage. Therefore, you can readily understand the magazine's information format.

Every issue of Power Electronic Technology contains at least one article on its two main subjects: power semiconductors and power supply design. The growth of the power semiconductor industry over the years makes electronic systems viable, whether they are battery systems, power sources, computers, factory automation systems, or electric vehicles — all of which require the control of power. Power supplies are also a major subsystem in electronic systems, and their design is an important part of the magazine's editorial content. In 2002 we'll cover the major power supply types in detail: VRMs, battery power supplies, dc-dc converters, and ac-dc power supplies.

Power electronics engineers must also employ the tools required for effective design projects. Therefore, they require the appropriate test equipment and CAD/CAE software. We cover subjects editorially, making designers aware of the tools that save time and improve design accuracy.

In 2002, Power Electronics Technology will include four special reports on the key components used in power electronic systems. The four reports will include: passive components (February), magnetics (May), thermal management (August), and power semiconductors (November).

We always look for suggestions of what we should include in our editorial coverage. This could be specific reports, or more new products and literature. We've included power electronics patents in the past — should they be continued? If you have comments on our definition of power electronics or our editorial coverage, send them to [email protected].

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