Chapter 1Energy, Global Warming and Impact of Power Electronics in the Present Century

Bimal K. Bose

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The University of Tennessee, Tennessee, USA

1.1 Introduction

Power electronics concerns the conversion and control of electrical power with the aid of power semiconductor devices, which include diodes, thyristors, triacs, gate turn-off thyristors (GTO), power metal oxide silicon field effect transistors (MOSFET), insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) and integrated gate-commutated thyristors (IGCT). Their applications include regulated power supplies (DC and AC), uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, electrochemical processes (such as electroplating, electrolysis, anodizing and metal refining), control of heating and lighting, electronic welding, power line static var compensators (SVC or STATCOM) and flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS), active harmonic filters (AHFs), high-voltage direct current (HVDC) systems, photovoltaic (PV) and fuel cell (FC) converters, electronic circuit breakers, high-frequency heating, energy storage and motor drives. The extensive applications of power electronics in global industrialization have been somewhat unprecedented in history. We now live in a global society in which the nations in the world are highly interdependent. In the present trend, it is expected that future wars in the world will be fought on an economic front rather than military. In future, all the nations ...

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