Best Power Supply Books

About a dozen power supply books you might want on your desk when you are designing power supply circuits.

There really is no single list of the best power supply books because what is best depends on the judgement-criteria the list-maker uses. I have my favorites, but they may not be yours. You will find this list is heavily weighted to books concentrating on power supply design, rather than general power electronics text books, which tend to have a lot of content on devices, motor drives, etc., that are necessary for an introduction to power electronics, but may be thinner on power supply design than books primarily devoted to this topic

Having said that, these are power supply books that I find useful enough to take up limited space on my desk so that when I have to research a problem or answer one of your questions, they are the most handy. The books change over time and the number is not sacred, but I a try to limit those on my desk to about a dozen.

Power Supply Books About Power Supply Design

Fundamentals of Power Electronics, Second Edition, R. W. Erickson, D. Maksimovic

This books serves as a text book for introductory power electronics courses where the fundamentals of power electronics are defined, rigorously presented, and treated in sufficient depth so that students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to design practical power electronic systems. An additional goal is to contribute as a reference book for engineers who practice power electronics design. Topics include: introduction; converters in equilibrium; principles of steady-state converter analysis; steady-state equivalent circuit modeling, losses, and efficiency; switch realization; the discontinuous conduction mode; converter circuits; converter dynamics and control; ac equivalent circuit modeling; converter transfer functions; controller design; input filter design; ac and dc equivalent circuit modeling of the discontinuous conduction mode; current programmed control; magnetics; basic magnetics theory; inductor design; transformer design; modern rectifiers and power system harmonics; power and harmonics in nonsinusoidal systems; line-commutated rectifiers; pulse-width modulated rectifiers; resonant converts; resonate conversion; soft switching; RMS values of commonly-observed converter waveforms; simulation of converters; Middlebrook's extra element theorem; and magnetic design tables.

This is the first book I go to when looking up a problem. What I like about it is that it is compatible with my design philosophy, modeled on Caltech Professor (Emeritus) R. D. Middlebrook's approach to circuit design, which is to start with the simplist model possible and only add complexity as needed to solve the design problem. Middlebrook's Extra Element Theorem helps to do this and this is the only basic text I know that presents this. Both Professor Erickson and Maksimovic received their Ph. D. at Caltech and studied with Middlebrook.

Power Supply Books Mini-Reviews

Snubber Circuit Design

Switch-Mode Power Supplies, C. P. Basso

This book tries to fill the gap between switching power supplies books that are too academic without a connections to the industrial world or are simply too practical, lacking theoretical foundations for most of the formulas used in the design examples. Topics include: Introduction to power conversion, small signal modeling, feedback and control loops, basic blocks and generic switched models, simulations and practical designs of nonisolated converters, simulations and practical designs of off-line converters -- the front end, simulations and practical designs of flyback converters, and simulations and practical designs of forward converters.

This book is primarily about using SPICE to simulate switching power supplies. Even if you know SPICE you will probably need all the help you can get to apply that knowledge to switching power supplies and this book provides it. The first edition of the book gave well-written introductory descriptions of each converter as a prelude to SPICE simulation. This made it an excellent introductory text. This second edition retains these explanations and has been expanded to include a more complete fundamental foundation. In doing so, the mathematical treatment has increased. I like this book because each time I read a section I learn something. This book is loaded with practical information that will help you improve your circuit design skills. Because you need help in applying SPICE to switching-mode power supplies, and because the book provides introductory and abundant practical design advice, I often recommend this as the first text to add to your professional library if you are starting to design switching-mode power supplies.

Book Mini-Reviews

Snubber Circuit Design

Switching Power Supply Design, A. I. Pressman

"This book is directed primarily to design engineers and engineering students at the undergraduate and graduate level. It may also be of significant value to people who are not directly involved in start-from-scratch designs, and those whose many main interest is power supply design analysis, design review, test, and debugging." Source: Preface from second edition.

Topics from the second edition include:
Part I: Fundamental Switching Regulators: Buck, Boost, and Investor Topologies. Push-Pull and Forward Converter Topologies. Half- and Full-Bridge Converter Topologies. Flyback Converter Topologies. Current-Mode and Current-Fed Topologies. Miscellaneous Topologies.
Part II: Magnetics and Circuits Designs. Transformer and Magnetic Design. Bipolar Power Translator Base Drives. MOSFET Power Transistors and Input Drive Circuits. Magnetic-Amplifier Post-regulators. Turnon, Turnoff Switching Losses and Snubbers. Feedback-Loop Stabilization. Resonant Converters.
Part III: Typical Switching Power Supply Waveforms.
Part IV: Newer Applications for Switching Power Supply Technique: Power Factor, Power Factor Correction. High-Frequency Power Sources for Fluorescent Lamps. Low-Input-Voltage Regulators for Laptop Computers and Portable Electronics.

The second edition is about to be updated to a third edition with K. H. Billings as co-author. The new book can be pre-ordered from the Amazon image. When available, the above review will be updated.

When a Navy Program Manager sent me the best a design review of a power supply I had ever read, I sought out the author, Abe Pressman, before he ever wrote his first book. We became friends with our paths crossing at design reviews, conference seminars, and many 12 hour days of conversation at the Navy Ocean Systems Center when he visited the west coast. From the trenches of practical power supply design, not academics, Abe never stopped learning, checked out what he learned in the lab to make sure it worked, and went on to write several editions of what many consider the best practical power supply design book written. Abe is no longer with us, but Keith Billings is bringing out an updated 3rd edition in the same spirit.

Modern DC-To-DC Switchmode Power Converter Circuits, R. P. Severns, G. E. Bloom

Rudy Severns, a pioneer in the classification of power converter topologies, and Ed Bloom, a pioneer in integrated magnetics, combine talents in this text which is meant to integrate in one place much of the scattered information in the literature. Topics include the buck converter, the boost converter, dc transformers, buck derived circuits, boost derived circuits, combinations of converters, magnetic component tapping, duality, small-signal models, comparative techniques for selection, and converters with integrated magnetics. Treatment is primarily descriptive with math through calculus as required. Besides the Amazon link shown for the used book, and updated reprint is available from the Power Supply Manufacturing Association (PSMA)

Power Supply Books Mostly About Power Electronics

Elements of Power Electronics, P. T. Krein

This book aims to establish a fundamental engineering basis for power electronics analysis, design, and implementation. Topics include: Background, organizing and analyzing switches, converter concepts, dc-dc converters, diode-capacitor circuits and rectifiers, inverters, ac-ac conversion, introduction to resonance in converters, discontinuous modes, real sources and loads, capacitors and resistors, concepts of magnetics for power electronics, power semiconductors in converters, interfacing with power semiconductors, overview of feedback control for converters, approximate methods for control design, geometric control for power converters, some useful trigonometric identities, measurement systems, computer analysis examples, reference materials, and index.

The more I refer to this text the more I like it. It has one of my favorite passages in the preface. "Why study power electronics? First, because it is fun... Second, because it makes use of all the student's knowledge of electrical engineering... Third, because of the challenge... Fourth, because of the opportunity.... The need is there and it will grow." These are exactly the reasons why I became a power supply circuit designer -- especially the challenge. My measure of success is to waking up every morning facing a task that will challenge me and provide enough income to support my family. Since 1959 power supply design has met that criteria -- and will continue to, -- the challenges are infinite and virtually all electronic hardware require a power supply.

Principles of Power Electronics, J. G. Kassakian, M. F. Schlecht, G. C. Verghese

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology authors designed this text specifically to teach the subject of power electronics. Although the coverage is broad, they develop topics in sufficient depth to expose the fundamental principles, concepts, techniques, methods, and circuits necessary for the reader to understand and design power electronic systems as diverse as a 5-W switching converter and a 600-MW high-voltage dc transmission terminal. Topics include an introduction, form and function (topology), introduction to rectifier circuits, bridge and polyphase rectifier circuits, phase-controlled converters, high-frequency switching dc/dc converters, isolated high-frequency dc/dc converters, variable-frequency dc/ac converters, resonant converters, ac/ac converters, dynamics and control, state-space models, linear and piecewise linear models, feedback control design, components, review of semiconductor devices, power diodes, power transistors, thyristors, magnetic components, ancillary issues, gate and base drives, thyristor commutation circuits, snubber circuits and clamps, and thermal modeling and heat sinking.

Power Electronics, B. W. Williams

Primarily a power electronics text starting from device physics, it does cover power supply design and magnetic design with ferrites. It is an excellent book if you want a complete over view of power electronics. You can buy a used copy from Amazon (left) or other places, but what makes it special is that Professor Williams has made the book available in PDF form at no cost to students in developing countries who often can not afford to buy a quality text.

Barry Wayne Williams, is a professor in the Power Electronics, Drives and Energy Conversion Group, Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering (EEE), at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, one of the top electrical engineering schools in the UK. In making his text available in PDF form, downloadable from the Internet, he is providing a great service to these students. I answer several questions a week from these students and I'm aware that they simple can not afford the shipping and handling costs for such a book, let alone the cost of the book. Thanks to Professor Williams, an excellent text is available to them.

If you are a developing nation professor who has such students you might make yourself and your students aware of his text. You can download it in two forms at Professor Williams' website.

Power Electronics, N. Mohan, T. M. Undeland, W. P. Robbins

Provides a presentation of power electronics fundamentals for applications and design in the power range of 500 k W or less. Topics include: (Introduction). Power Electronic Systems. Overview of Power Semiconductor Switches. Review of Basic Electrical and Magnetic Circuit Concepts. Computer Simulation of Power Electronic Converters and Systems. (Generic Power Electronic Circuits). Line-Frequency Diode Rectifiers: Line-Frequency ac to Uncontrolled dc. Line-Frequency Phase-Controlled Rectifiers and Inverters: Line-Frequency ac to Controlled dc. dc-dc Switch-Mode Converters. Switch-Mode dc-ac Inverters: dc to Sinusoidal ac. Resonant Converters: Zero-Voltage and/or Zero-Current Switchings. (Power Supply Applications.) Switching dc Power Supplies. Power Conditioners and Uninterruptible Power Supplies. (Motor Drive Applications). Introduction to Motor Drives. dc Motor Drives. Induction Motor Drives. Synchronous Motor Drives. (Other Applications). Residential and Industrial Applications. Electric Utility Applications. Optimizing the Utility Interface with Power Electronic Systems. (Semiconductor Devices). Basic Semiconductor Physics. Power Diodes. Bipolar Junction Transistors. Power MOSFETs. Thyristors. Gate Turn-Off Thyristors. Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors. Emerging Devices and Circuits. (Practical Converter Design Considerations). Snubber Circuits. Gate and Base Drive Circuits. Component Temperature Control and Heat Sinks. Design of Magnetic Components. Index.

Power Electronics, M. H. Rashid

For junior or senior undergraduate students in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Topics include: Introduction, Power Semiconductor Diodes and Circuits, Diode Rectifiers, Power Transistors, DC-DC Converters, Pulse-width Modulated Inverters, Thyristors, Resonant Pulse Inverters, Multilevel Inverters, Controlled Rectifiers, AC Voltage Controllers, Static Switches, Flexible AC Transmission Systems, Power Supplies, DC Drives, AC Drives, Gate Drive Circuits, and Protection of Devices and Circuits. Appendices: Three-phase Circuits, Magnetic Circuits, and Switching Functions of Converters, DC Transient Analysis, Fourier Analysis, Thyristor Commutation Techniques, Data Sheets.

Power Supply Books About Some Specialty

Complex Behavior of Switching Power Converters, C. K. Tse

Provides a systematic treatment of the procedures for observing, identifying, and diagnosing switching converter phenomena such as chaos and bifurcation. Topics include: Introduction; Overview of Power Electronics Circuits; Overview of Modeling Strategies for Switching Converters; Overview of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems; Complex Behavior in Power Electronics; Computer and Laboratory Techniques for Studying Nonlinear Behavior in Switching Power Converters; The Use and Misuse of Computer Simulations; Accuracy of Models: Does It Matter?; Mode of Investigation; Capturing Complex Behavior on Computers; Test for Chaos: The Lyapunov Exponent; Laboratory Investigation; Roles of Laboratory Experiments and Computer Simulations; Modeling of Switching Power Converters for Nonlinear Dynamical Analysis; A Glimpse at Discrete-Time Modeling; General Procedure for Derivation of Discrete-Time Iterative; Maps for the Basic Switching Converters; Approximation of Iterative Maps by Series Expansions; Approximate Iterative Maps for the Boost and Buck Converters; The Method of Averaging; Control Law to Complete the Model; Determination of the Boundary of Operating Modes; Border Collision: A Trivial Case; Pros and Cons of the Models; Analysis of Period-Doubling Bifurcation in Switching Converters Operating in Discontinuous Conduction Mode; Review of the Derivation of Iterative Maps; The Closed-Loop System and Control Equation; Period-Doubling Bifurcation; Computer Simulations; Experimentation; Recapitulation of Basic Phenomenology; Bifurcation Behavior in Switching Power Converters: Smooth versus Non-Smooth Bifurcations; A Quick Glimpse at Complexity; Current-Mode Controlled Switching Converters; Initial Simulation Study of the Boost Converter under; Current-Mode Control; Bifurcation Behavior of the Open-Loop Current-Mode; Controlled Boost Converter; Theoretical Analysis of Period-Doubling Bifurcation and Border Collision; Bifurcation Behavior of the Closed-Loop Current-Mode Controlled Boost Converter; Border Collision: Is It Important?; Nonlinear Dynamics of the Cuk Converter; Review of the Cuk Converter and Its Operation; Bifurcation Behavior for Fixed-Frequency Operation; Bifurcation Behavior for Free-Running Operation; Recapitulation; Bifurcation Behavior of Parallel-Connected Buck Converters via Discrete-Time Models; Parallel-Connected Switching Converters; State Equations for Two Parallel Buck Converters; Initial Simulation Study; Experimentation; Analysis of Period-Doubling Bifurcation; Analysis of Border Collision; A Remark on Modeling: Can It Be Simpler?; Slow-Scale Bifurcation Behavior of Parallel-Connected Boost Converters via Averaged Models; The System of Parallel-Connected Boost Converters; Initial Experimentation; Averaged Model for Two Parallel Boost Converters; Stability of Equilibrium Point and Hopf Bifurcation; Local Trajectories from the Averaged Equations; Computer Simulation Study; Usefulness of Averaged Models; Fast-Scale Bifurcation Analysis of Power-Factor-Correction Boost Converters; Bifurcation Analysis of Boost Converters under Current-Mode; Control with Ramp Compensation; Viewpoint; Application to Power-Factor-Correction Boost Converter; A Note on Fast-Scale and Slow-Scale Instabilities; Intermittent Chaotic Operation in Switching Power Converters; Simplified Model of Spurious Signal Intrusion; Quick Glimpse at "Intermittent" Chaos; Time-Bifurcation Diagrams - A Closer Look; Experimental Observations; Parameters Affecting the Occurrence of "Intermittent" Chaos; Summary of the Basic Phenomenon; Glossary; Bibliography; and Index. (The author is a professor at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong.)

Fast Analytical Techniques for Electrical and Electronic Circuits, V. Vorpérian

Describes alternative techniques to nodal or loop analysis to solve, almost by inspection, complicated linear circuits in symbolic form and obtain meaningful analytical answers for any transfer function or impedance. Topics include: Introduction, Transfer functions, The extra element theorem, The N extra element theorem, Electronic negative feedback, High-frequency and microwave circuits, Passive filters, and PWM switching DC-to-DC converters.

Original: March 6, 2008
Revised: April 17, 2009

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