Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module ENGI44F10: Power Electronics 4

Department: Engineering

ENGI44F10: Power Electronics 4

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap None.
Tied to H1K909


  • <If other modules, please enter module code using 'Right Click, Insert module_code' or enter module title>


  • As specified in programme regulations.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • As specified in programme regulations.


  • This module is designed solely for students studying Department of Engineering degree programmes.
  • To provide an overview and describe the characteristics of power electronic systems and their application to a range of renewable energy systems.
  • To explain the working principles of power converters in terms of the underlying device technologies.
  • To introduce and familiarise students with analytical and practical methods for characterising power electronic circuits and the use of simulation tools to support their conclusions.


  • AC-DC conversion
  • DC-DC conversion
  • DC-AC conversion
  • Gate drive
  • Active device selection
  • Thermal management of devices and power coverters
  • Practical characterisation of 1 kW converters

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A knowledge of the benefits and limitations of technologies currently used or being developed for power electronic converters.
  • Understand the fundamental converter topologies and utilise this information to predict the operation of novel power electronic systems.
  • Design converters to meet the requirements of a specific application and determine the mode of operation and power losses.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of component selection on the operation of the converters.
  • Show an ability to correctly design, build and characterise power converters in the 1kW power range.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An awareness of current technology, analysis methods and industrial practices in relation to the construction of high performance power converters.
  • An ability to understand the performance of power electronic systems and how these are influenced by system design considerations.
  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of specialised and advanced technical and professional skills, an ability to perform critical assessment and review and an ability to communicate the results of their own work effectively.
  • Practical skills in a high power laboratory to extract the required characteristics from power electronic circuits.
Key Skills:
  • Capacity for independent self-learning within the bounds of professional practice.
  • Specialised numerical skills appropriate to an engineer.
  • Mathematics relevant to the application of advanced engineering concepts.
  • Practical skills in relevant construction, testing and analysis of power electronic circuits.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module content is delivered in lectures and is reinforced by practical construction and test of power electronic circuits.
  • Students are able to make use of staff 'Tutorial Hours' to discuss any aspect of the module with teaching staff on a one-to-one basis. These are sign up sessions available for up to one hour per week per lecture course.
  • The practical assessment will enable the students to demonstrate their knowledge through a series of supported activities that are designed in discussion with power electronic engineers at leading companies. These will enable the students to show the interplay between all the aspects of power electronics.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Typically 1 per week 1 Hour 20
Practical Sessions 10 Biweekly 2 Hours 20
Tutorial Hours As required Weekly sign-up sessions Up to 1 Hour 10
Preparation and Reading 50
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework (laboratory based) Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Competency portfolio 1000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University