In this interactive 3 month LIVE ONLINE course, you will learn how to:

  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of how switch mode power supplies operate
  • Correctly select components and topology for a switch mode power supply
  • Evaluate the performance and stability of a switch mode power supply design
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of how AC Variable Speed Drives (VSD's) work
  • Select the right VSD for a given application
  • Troubleshoot VSD's competently
  • Competently explain how flux-vector control works for drive applications
  • Understand squirrel cage induction motors
  • Identify the protection and control system requirements for VSD's
  • Understand the causes of motor burnout
  • Deal effectively with VSD harmonics and EMC/EMI problems


Course Details


This course gives you a fundamental understanding of the basic components that form a SMPS design and the installation, operation and troubleshooting of variable speed drives. You will understand how the selection of components affects the different performance parameters and operation of the SMPS. Typical practical applications of VSDs in process control and materials handling, such as those for pumping, ventilation, conveyers, compressors and hoists are covered in detail. The course also covers the basic setup of parameters, control wiring and safety precautions in installing a VSD.The various drive features such as operating modes, braking types, automatic restart and many others will be discussed in detail.

The course also covers the four basic requirements for a VSD to function properly with emphasis on typical controller faults, their causes and how they can be repaired. Even though the focus of the course is on the direct application of this technology, you will gain a thorough understanding of the problems that can be introduced by SMPSs and VSDs such as ripple, harmonics, electrostatic discharge and EMC/EMI problems.

NB: The course description of all EIT "Certificate" courses has been changed to "Professional Certificate of Competency". Some course brochures are not yet updated. The actual certificate received by successful students will include the new title.

Course Outline

MODULE 1: Introduction to Power Electronic Circuits and Devices

Definitions and basic principles
Power diodes and thyristors
Principles of commutation
Power electronic rectifiers
Power electronic inverters
Gate commutated converters
Gate controlled devices - GTO, FCT, GTR, FET, IGBT
Block diagram of power electronic circuits

MODULE 2: Introduction to Switch Mode Power Supplies

Basic principles of PSU circuits
Linear and SMPS comparison
Comparison of topologies
Non-isolated topologies
Isolated topologies
PWM controller review
Speed critical path
Choice of topology based on power supply Specifications

MODULE 3: Switch Mode Power Supply Design 1

Component selection and design criteria for input section
Input rectifiers
Input filter capacitors
High frequency transformer design
Basic transformer theory
Core material and geometry selection
Design of a power transformer for a PWM push-pull converter.
Losses and temperature rise
Winding techniques

MODULE 4: Switch Mode Power Supply Design 2

Output rectification and filtering
Power rectifier characteristics
Output power inductor design
Output filter capacitor design
Heat sinking
The thermal equation
Selecting a heatsink
Custom heatsink

MODULE 5: Switch Mode Power Control and Stability

Transfer functions
Criteria for stability
Control to output gain
Design compensation network
Control stability measurements

MODULE 6: Introduction to Variable Speed Drives

Need for variable speed drives
Fundamental principles of speed control
Efficiency, torque, inertia, horsepower/power factor
Torque-speed curves
How the motor produces torque
Types of variable speed drives

MODULE 7: 3-Phase Induction Motors

Basic construction and physical
Principles of operation and performance
Equivalent circuit and fundamental equations
Starting, acceleration, running and stopping
Power, torque and thermal rating

MODULE 8: Protection of Motors

AC frequency converter protection
Fault diagnostics
Electric motor protection
Thermal overload protection – current sensors
Thermal overload protection – direct Temperature

MODULE 9: Control System for AC Variable Speed Drives

Overall control system
Power supply to the control system
DC bus charging system
VSD control loops (open-loop, closedloop)
Vector control and its applications
Current feedback in AC variable speed drives
Speed feedback from the motor

MODULE 10: Selection of AC Converters for Variable Speed Drives Applications

Basic selection procedure
Load ability of converter fed induction motors
Operation in the constant power region
Nature of the machine load
Starting and stopping VSDs (motor braking)
How to calculate acceleration torques and times
How to select the correct motor and converter for pump and fan loads
How to select the correct motor and converter for constant torque loads, such as conveyors
Summary of the selection procedure

MODULE 11: Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

Sources of electromagnetic interference
Noise specifications and RFI sources in SMPS
Filters for RFI suppression
Harmonics on the power supply side of AC converters
Effect of harmonic distortion on other connected equipment
Methods of reducing the effect of supply side harmonics

MODULE 12: Installation and Fault Finding Techniques

Troubleshooting of SMPS
General installation and environmental requirements
Power supply connections and earthing
Where to install the contactors in the power circuit
Installing AC converters into metal enclosures


Learning and Teaching

Benefits of Online Learning to Students

  • Cost effective: no travel or accommodation necessary
  • Interactive: live, interactive sessions let you communicate with your instructor and fellow students
  • Flexible: short interactive sessions over the Internet which you can attend from your home or office. Learn while you earn!
  • Practical: perform exercises by remotely accessing our labs and simulation software
  • Expert instructors: instructors have extensive industry experience; they are not just 'academics'
  • No geographical limits: learn from any location, all you need is an Internet connection
  • Constant support: from your instructor(s) and a dedicated Learning Support Officer for the complete duration of the course
  • International insight: interact and network with participants from around the globe and gain valuable insight into international practice 

Benefits of Online Learning to Employers

  • Lower training costs: no travel or accommodation necessary
  • Less downtime: short webinars (60-90 minutes) and flexible training methods means less time away from work
  • Retain employees: keep staff who may be considering a qualification as full time study
  • Increase efficiency: improve your engineering or technical employees’ skills and knowledge
  • International insight: students will have access to internationally based professional instructors and students


How Does it Work?

EIT Online Learning courses involve a combination of live, interactive sessions over the Internet with a professional instructor, set readings, and assignments. The courses include simulation software and remote laboratory applications to let you put theory to practice, and provide you with constant support from a dedicated Learning Support Officer.

Practical Exercises and Remote Laboratories

As part of the groundbreaking new way of teaching, our online engineering courses use a series of remote laboratories (labs) and simulation software, to facilitate your learning and to test the knowledge you gain during your course. These involve complete working labs set up at various locations of the world into which you will be able to log to and proceed through the various practical sessions.

These will be supplemented by simulation software, running either remotely or on your computer, to ensure you gain the requisite hands-on experience. No one can learn much solely from lectures, the labs and simulation software are designed to increase the absorption of the materials and to give you a practical orientation of the learning experience. All this will give you a solid, practical exposure to the key principles covered and will ensure that you obtain maximum benefit from your course.




To access the detailed program brochure, please complete this form.


The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is dedicated to ensuring our students receive a world-class education and gain skills they can immediately implement in the workplace upon graduation. Our staff members uphold our ethos of honesty and integrity, and we stand by our word because it is our bond. Our students are also expected to carry this attitude throughout their time at our institute, and into their careers.