Courses Address Advanced Power Design Topics

Oct. 24, 2007
On Sunday, October 28 and Monday, October 29, the Power Electronics Technology conference will host 15 professional advancement courses on a range of power design topics.

On Sunday, October 28 and Monday, October 29, the Power Electronics Technology conference will host 15 professional advancement courses (PACs) on a range of power design topics. These topics include the emerging field of energy harvesting, the latest advances in thermal management materials, and IGBT module selection.

On Monday, October 29 from 9:00AM to 1:00 PM, Dr. Robert O'Handley of Ferro Solutions will teach a PAC titled, “Energy Harvesting Technologies and Applications for Vibration Energy Harvesters.”

Engineers who attend this course will receive an overview of energy harvesting technologies and devices, with emphasis on piezoelectric & electromechanical vibration energy harvesters. Dr. O’Handley will compare how these technologies perform in different environments and how performance scales with size.

He will also provide metrics to help designers select the right technology for their products. The session will focus on vibration energy harvesting applications and describe how to define the vibration environment. The session will also include lessons learned from real world installations.

On Sunday, October 28 from 9:00AM to 5:00 PM, Dr. Carl Zweben, Advanced Thermal Materials Consultant, will give instruction on “Advanced Thermal Management Materials.”

This course covers the large and increasing number of advanced thermal management and packaging materials, providing an in-depth discussion of properties, manufacturing processes, applications, cost, lessons learned, typical development programs, and future directions, including carbon nanotubes. A cooling architecture is proposed that can greatly expand convection cooling capability. Traditional materials are discussed for reference. Participants are invited to bring their thermal management problems for discussion.

Also on Sunday, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Nicholas Clark of Powerex will teach a class on “IGBT Module Selection for Design Engineers.” The intent of this seminar is to aid the designer in applying an IGBT to a new product. Questions and concerns a designer might have will be addressed by the various techniques and circuit examples that will be presented. IGBT chip technology and device packaging options will also be discussed. The attendee should leave the course with a better understanding of the IGBT, both specifically as a product and generally towards an application.

The seminar’s goal will be to impart an understanding of the desirable features, characteristics, and limitations of the IGBT. This will include the application of IGBTs in power circuits, protecting the IGBT from internal and external disturbances, and an understanding of thermal design and handling considerations. The seminar is intended for design engineers new to IGBTs as the main switch in power conversion equipment as well as refresher for the experienced designer.

For more information on these and the other PAC sessions, see
About the Instructors

Dr. O'Handley guides Ferro Solutions' research and development activities as chief scientist, while retaining his position as senior research scientist/engineer at MIT. Before joining MIT in 1981, he performed research for 9 years at government and industrial labs including IBM's Watson Research Center. His research activities have mainly focused on magnetic materials and devices. Dr. O'Handley has published one textbook, over 250 scientific and technical articles, and been granted over 18 U.S. and foreign patents.

Nicholas Clark received his BSEE from the University of Pittsburgh with high honors in 2002. In 2003 he did contract engineering through PKMJ Technical Services for First Energy’s 1700-MW Nuclear Power Plant in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. He has been an applications engineer for Powerex for over two years. There he provides technical support to Powerex customers and is involved in the design of Powerex gate-drive development kits.

Dr. Zweben, now an independent consultant on advanced thermal materials and composites, was for many years advanced technology manager and division fellow at GE Astro Space. He has over 35 years of experience in electronic packaging and advanced thermal materials and applications. Zweben also has to his credit over 100 books, papers and reports. In addition, he has presented well over 100 invited lectures. He holds degrees from the Cooper Union, Columbia University and Polytechnic University.

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