Elegant Power Application Research Center (EPARC) is a well organized and equipped research center at National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan. Including the period of Power Electronics Applied Research Lab. (PEARL), we have been running the center for 16 years. The research topics mainly include development of converter topologies with the applications,such as plasma applications (eg. electronic ballast, LCD backlight driver, PDP driver, microbe sterilizer, and electrical stunner), power quality improvement (eg. power factor corrector and active power filter), PV power generator (eg. MPPT, bi-directional power regulator, dc-distribution system and grid-tied inverter), motor drive (eg. hybrid scooter, electric scooter, exercise bike and belt sander), battery management system (eg. for lead-acid, NiMH and Li-ion batteries), and LED applications (eg. dimming control IC, lighting in fiber optics). From the above mentioned applications, we have accumulated a lot of system-integration experiences both in teaching and research aspects, and we do believe they are worthy of further discussion and study for experienced people and new comers. Over these years, we have advised 17 Ph.D. and 90 master graduate students.
By tracing back to our former research, we can find that we have gone through many research topics. Currently, we are thinking what will be the next step in doing power electronics research. Additionally, we are thinking how to save energy and reduce carbon dioxides. In short, we have to move towards “elegancy”; i.e., we have to design and develop systems to have the features of multiple functions, high efficiency, long life span, low noise and light weight so as the resources in this planet can be optimally used, which yields high effectiveness and high durability. This in turn can reduce energy consumption while processing and manufacturing. How to achieve “elegancy” is a big issue or question. Before answering the question or proposing a feasible approach, let’s review the greatness of our creator. It is really amazing that a seed knows to grow a certain type of leaf, flower and fruit. Moreover, it can grow to be a huge tree. Human beings are another example. Their bodies, organs and circulatory systems are pretty sophisticated and elegant, which can fulfill many kinds of complex functions and achieve high durability. Thus, we might have to learn from the physiological phenomena and the behavior models of plants and animals, and we can find out answers to the pre-mentioned question.
From now on, “learning from and following up the nature” will be the main objective and target of EPARC’s team members. In addition, keeping green planet and environmental reservation will be another top guideline of the EPARC while doing research. We will try our best to run EPARC to be a fascinating and attractive center for people to work with. Here, we would like to sincerely invite dear friends to join EPARC and to create a new power electronics research era.
Tsai-Fu Wu, Ph.D.
Director of EPARC
Professor, EE, NCCU