QNET Energy Conversion

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Small Scale Analogue for Real World Power Distribution Systems

The QNET Energy Conversion board provides an experimental platform to introduce fundamental concepts of power electronics and energy conversion. Students can explore electronic and electromechanical components on the board, and learn how to use them in order to convert and condition power for various applications. The board is designed exclusively for NI ELVIS platform, taking the full advantage of accurate timing and control of FPGA-based reconfigurable I/O, brought by the new ELVIS RIO Control Module.

The QNET Energy Conversion board is the only lab-bench sized power systems trainer operating at safe voltages for AC and DC power applications. The highly configurable board can be used to represent power systems ranging from wind power generation to consumer DC power supplies without any changes to wiring.

How It Works

The QNET Energy Conversion board consists of a variable DC supply representing power source, a DC motor mechanically coupled to a three phase AC generator, which is connected to a reconfigurable single phase or three-phase rectifier. A switch mode power supply can be configured to a buck or boost topography that outputs to a variable current load. Alternatively the DC output from the rectifier can be used to drive a single phase AC inverter, which powers a resistive load via a single phase transformer.

Integrated, high speed instrumentation allows students to observe power signals at key points in the system without the need for manual probing. Students can control the switch mode power supply and inverter using either the microprocessor or FPGA components of the ELVIS RIO Control Module, allowing students to compare the benefits and drawbacks of different control systems.

Comprehensive Resources and Courseware Included

The QNET Mechatronic Actuators Board comes with comprehensive digital resources developed by Quanser to enhance teaching controls, saving professors’ time while helping students quickly grasp the capabilities of the board, relate the studied control concepts to applications in real world and understand the exercises performed in lab. The resources include:

  • courseware with in-lab exercises
  • setup materials, including Quick Start Guides, User Manual and VIs for the board for faster, easier setup of the experiment
  • pre-designed VIs to help students understand how the theoretical block diagrams relates to the actual implementation

  • Programmable DC power source
  • Programmable DC load
  • Inverter (DC/AC conversion)
  • Rectifier (AC/DC conversion)
  • DC/DC buck/boost converters
  • Brushed DC motor with AC generator
  • Built-in MXP connectors for NI ELVIS RIO Control Module for quick and easy lab setup
  • Fully compatible with LabVIEW™
  • Comprehensive ABET-aligned course resources
  • Additional community-created resources available on www.QuanserShare.com
Linear amplifier voltage range 0 - 20 V
Linear load current range 0 - 250 mA
Hall sensor counts per revolution 12
Switch Mode Power Supply max switching frequency 25 kHz
Buck converter duty cycle range 0 - 100%
Boost converter duty cycle range 0 - 50%
Inverter switching frequency 19.5 kHz

Topics covered in the Quanser-developed courseware:

  • Switch Mode Power Supplies
  • SMPS Control
  • Rectifiers
  • Power Inverters
  • AC Power and Transformers
  • Power system integration
The QNET Energy Conversion Board can be also used to teach other topics that are not included in the Quanser-developed courseware.

To set up your QNET Energy Conversion Board, you need NI ELVIS and Elvis RIO Control Module.

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