An Electrical Converter is any device which takes some form of power and converts it to any other form. It can either change the nature of power (ac/dc), can change it’s (voltage/current properties) or can change its phase number or frequency. Practically there are hundreds (if not thousands) of such converters. Given below are top 10 types of Power Electronics Converters that are very often used in our power and electronics circuits.
AC to DC Converter (Rectifier)
The prime source of electrical power coming from the grid is single/three-phase alternating current. While AC current is efficient for transmission purposes, many devices, drives, and electronic equipment require DC power supply that is fulfilled using rectifiers. A rectifier takes ac and converts it to DC. The rectifier is the most popular type of power electronics converter.
DC to AC Converter (Inverter)
An inverter or dc to ac converter takes dc power supply from the battery and converts it to ac. The process of inversion (dc to ac conversion) is particularly employed with battery banks in uninterruptible power supply systems and in solar power systems.
AC Voltage Regulator
An AC voltage regulator is an AC to AC converter that takes AC voltage at one level and provides AC voltage at other amplitude. Such converters are comprised of triac, thyristors, or SCR, GTO’s, IGBT’s or MOS controlled thyristors.
DC to DC Converter
A DC to DC converter (also known as chopper) is used for matching source voltage level with the component voltage level. They are further classified into three classes.
Buck converter: A converter which provides output voltage less than the input.
Boost converter: A converter whose output is higher than the input.
Buck-Boost converter: A converter whose output can either be higher or lower than the input.
An AC/DC Converter can convert AC to DC and DC to AC. Such converters have the capability to operate as an inverter as well as a rectifier.
Many electrical drives and components require variable supply that differs from 50/60 Hz frequency coming from the grid. A frequency converter takes AC power supply at one frequency and converts it to the required frequency. A frequency converter is also a type of AC to AC converter.
A phase converter is also a type of AC to AC converter. It converts either single phase supply to three phase supply or three phase supply to single phase supply.
Reactive power Converter
A reactive power converter compensates the reactive power generated or consumed.
The voltage converter is a general terms. It can be a component which takes voltage as input and produces equivalent current. Many times AC to AC voltage converters are classified under generic term voltage converter.
A current converter takes current and produces equivalent voltage. Like the previous case, it is a generic term and can be extended to any class.