Future of board level power electronics design

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jaydnul

Joined Apr 2, 2015
152
I'm sorry if this sounds naive and over simplified, but why is there a need for power electronics design anymore? It just doesn't seem like a very application specific field, i.e. you could have a few generic designs to accommodate all your power needs for any project. It just doesn't seem like there's enough specifications to warrant full time power electronics design engineers. Voltage rating, current rating, output impedance, ripple voltage. What else is there?
 

Lestraveled

Joined May 19, 2014
1,946
@jaydnul
It just so happens that I am working on a 300 watt switching battery charger that will accept power inputs from any voltage (16 to 70 volt) solar panels and/or AC power supply. I am working to make a large portion of the operating range have greater than 90 % efficiency. Even the off the shelf power conversion modules are evolving year to year, and higher and higher efficiency. So, I don't see any substance in your view point.

You also don't just plop a power converter module on a PCB. There is engineering that needs to be done to insure good power distribution at the board level.
 
Last edited:

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
I'm sorry if this sounds naive and over simplified, but why is there a need for power electronics design anymore? It just doesn't seem like a very application specific field, i.e. you could have a few generic designs to accommodate all your power needs for any project. It just doesn't seem like there's enough specifications to warrant full time power electronics design engineers. Voltage rating, current rating, output impedance, ripple voltage. What else is there?
Efficiency! Oh, and another thing to consider would be efficiency. And, above all efficiency. Dealing with heat is a major issue and the best way of dealing with heat is just not generating heat - oh but that would just be another way of saying, efficiency! Naturally, not every design can afford ultimate efficiency so you have to talk trade-offs in cost vs efficiency. And not every project can fit into the footprint of the cheapest or the most efficient designs so again, there are tradeoffs. Now, that is a bunch of variables and I am sure a design for all of those multiplied by all of the voltage and current combinations you mention above, but as soon as you have all of those designed, manufactures change prices and all of those optimizations change. Or, manufacturers develop new components with new specs (faster MOSFETS for example), means higher switching speeds, smaller (cheaper) inductors so everything gets re-optimized.
 
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