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ELEC2208 – Power Electronics and Drives

Part 1: Power Electronics


Chapter 2: Diode
Sze Sing Lee
ss.lee@soton.ac.uk

ELEC2208 – Power Electronics and Drives


SS Lee 1
Part 1 – Power Electronics: Chapter 2 – Diode
Diode Characteristics
• Uncontrollable.
• On and off conditions are determined by voltages and currents in the
circuit.
• Forward-biased (on) when the current id is positive and reverse biased
(off) when vd is negative.

Symbol Ideal i-v curve Practical i-v curve

On
Off
Breakdown

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Part 1 – Power Electronics: Chapter 2 – Diode
Diode Characteristics
• Ideal diode has no voltage drop across anode and cathode in forward
conduction hence it can conduct infinite current (zero resistance).
• In reverse blocking, ideal diode can block reverse voltage up to infinite
and no current flow.
• Practical diode are semiconductor devices that has maximum blocking
voltage and maximum current.
• At very large reverse bias, beyond the peak inverse voltage, practical
diodes breakdown that causes a large increase in current in reverse
direction.
• Practical diodes has significant voltage drop during forward conduction.
• The i-v characteristics of practical diode is non linear.

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Part 1 – Power Electronics: Chapter 2 – Diode
Linear Diode Model
• The i-v curve of diode can be linearized so that the diode model during
conduction can be represented in linear electric circuit.
i Forward
conduction
id +
Breakdown
conduction Slope = 1/Rf
id Rf
+
v -
vd vd
Reverse Vf
blocking
Vf
-
Linear diode model during forward conduction

• The voltage drop is 𝑣𝑑 = 𝑉𝑓 + 𝑖𝑑 𝑅𝑓


• The power dissipation is 𝑃𝑑 = 𝑉𝑓 𝐼𝑎𝑣𝑔 + 𝐼 2 𝑑,𝑟𝑚𝑠 𝑅𝑓
(Iavg & Id,rms are mean & rms of id)
ELEC2208 – Power Electronics and Drives
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Part 1 – Power Electronics: Chapter 2 – Diode
Free-wheeling Diode iL iL
+ +
• When switch, S is on inductor current rises L vL L vL
linearly due to constant voltage applied Vdc
-
+
Vdc
-
+
across inductor. S=1 vs S=0 vs
- -
• Energy stored in inductor is proportional to Mode 1: Switch on Mode 2: Switch off
square of current magnitude. Vdc
vL
• At tx, S is turned off and the stored Voltage spike
magnetic energy released instantly causing
a voltage spike.
iL
• This voltage spike can be in kV range due to Vdc - vL
high di/dt hence causes overvoltage and (Voltage spike)

could damage the switch, S. vs


S=1 S=0
SS Lee
ELEC2208 – Power Electronics and Drives tx 5
Part 1 – Power Electronics: Chapter 2 – Diode
iL iL
Free-wheeling Diode - + - +
vd vL vd vL
• Free-wheeling diode becomes forward biased
L L
+ - + -
Vdc id Vdc id
and conducts as the switch, S is open. + +
vs vs
S=1
• The magnitude of inductor voltage is the forward - S=0 -

voltage drop of the free-wheeling diode. Mode 1: Switch on Mode 2: Switch off

Vdc
• The magnetic energy releases slowly as can be vL
-0.7
seen that the inductor current is slowly decay to slowly decay to 0
0. iL
• Voltage spike is prevented and the voltage across vd
-0.7

switch, S is kept within limits. -Vdc

• Free-wheeling diode is very useful as it provides id


Diode off Diode on
an alternative path for inductor current and
prevent voltage spike. vs
Vdc + 0.7

S=1 S=0
SS Lee
ELEC2208 – Power Electronics and Drives
Part 1 – Power Electronics: Chapter 2 – Diode
tx 6
Note: Diode forward voltage drop = 0.7V
iL
Zener Diode 5
-
+
+-
• Designed to operate at the reverse breakdown 0.7
+
L vL
-
voltage in reverse conduction. Vdc id +
vs
• As voltage reference device or a voltage clamp. S=0 -
Mode 2: Switch off
• For example, a zener diode connected in series to
Vdc
free-wheeling diode clamps the voltage across vL
inductor to –(0.7+5)V. -(0.7+5)
w/o zener diode
• The inductor current decays faster (stored magnetic with zener diode

energy releases faster) without causing voltage spike. iL Vdc + 0.7 + 5

• This circuit is normally used for switching/controlling vs


S=1 S=0
solenoid coil for electromechanical relays. Note: tx
1. Diode forward voltage drop = 0.7V
2. Zener diode reverse breakdown voltage = 5V
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Part 1 – Power Electronics: Chapter 2 – Diode
Diode Switching Dynamic
• An important dynamic characteristic of a nonideal diode is reverse
recovery current.
• When a diode turns off, the current in it decreases and momentarily
becomes negative before becoming zero.
• This phenomenon may become important in high frequency
applications (switching loss increases with frequency).
• Silicon carbide (SiC) and schottky diodes have very little reverse
recovery, resulting in more efficient circuits, especially in high-
frequency high-power applications.

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Part 1 – Power Electronics: Chapter 2 – Diode