What is power electronics ?
Power electronics is the control and conversion of electric power.
There are four main types of electric power conversion :
- AC to DC (also called rectifying):
- used to power most electronics devices e.g. televisions, computers,…
- DC to AC (also called inverting):
- used, for example, to convert solar energy from panels to the electrical grid
- DC to DC:
- to change voltage level in, for example, battery systems
- AC to AC:
- to transform voltage, for example, from high-power lines (many kVolts) to low power outlets (115 or 230V)
AC stands for Alternating Current (what comes out of the mains) and DC stands for Direct Current (like in batteries).
This site explains well what AC and DC currents are.
As you can see, power electronics is quite omnipresent in our lives.