Environmental Engineering

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Environmental Engineering in the Power Electronics Education

Annika Nilsson

Environmental Engineering in the Power Electronics Education Annika Nilsson *, Per Karlsson **, Lars Gertmar **,*** Department of Building and Environmental Technology Lund University, Lund, Sweden Phone: +46 46 222 96 15 Fax: +46 46 222 45 35 ** Department of Industrial Electrical Engineering and Automation Lund University, Lund, Sweden Phone: +46 46 222 92 90 Fax: +46 46 14 21 14 *** ABB Corporate Research, Västerås, Sweden Phone: +46 21 32 31 31 Fax: +46 21 32 32 64 *

E-mail: annika.nilsson@byggtek.lth.se, per.karlsson@iea.lth.se, lars.gertmar@iea.lth.se

Acknowledgements
Thanks to Susanna Määttänen who was at ABB Corporate Research, Vaasa and Timo Miettinen who is at ABB Industry Oy, Helsinki, for sharing their early LCA-work on environmental loading of converters. Bengt-Eric Bengtsson, recently retired from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, is commended for his professional life, starting in power electronics mid 1960’s and ending early 2001 after initiating environmentally adapted production of electronics.

Keywords
Design, Education, Efficiency, EMC/EMI, EMF

Abstract
Sustainable development and engineering ethics as well as social aspects of engineering are emerging issues related to power electronics. Several important topics like environmentally sustainable products and electromagnetic compatibility fit into this description. Therefore, these issues have recently become part of the advanced course on power electronics at Lund University. The authors’ intention with the present overview paper is to share the ingredients and results so far and to review ongoing Nordic activities that could form a basis for others to expand from traditional power electronics. It is our firm opinion that issues like LCA, EPR, EMC, EMI have to be addressed and highlighted in the education of power electronic engineers.

Introduction
The increased use of power electronic equipment results in a not previously experienced loading of the environment caused by the manufacturing and disposal of new products. Environmental aspects by means of life-cycle-assessment (LCA), eco-efficiency, extended producer responsibility (EPR), electromagnetic fields (EMF), electromagnetic interference (EMI) and compatibility (EMC) are also, to a continuously growing extent, covered in media. The discussion focuses on human health aspects resulting from the broad introduction of mobile phones and human health effects from power equipment like power lines nearby residential areas. In history, power equipment was designed, sold, manufactured, erected as greenfield installations, commissioned and operated for years without a thought for property rights. Nowadays the public has a clear awareness of drawbacks from industrial installations. It is evident as brownfield areas [1] in large cities but also as chemical aspects from as small bits and pieces as printed circuit boards. Environmental information will be shared between the stakeholders of society in the future.

EPE 2001 – Graz

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Environmental Engineering in the Power Electronics Education

Annika Nilsson

The intention with this paper is to describe some environmental aspects recently introduced into the advanced course on power electronics in the electrical engineering curriculum at Lund University. To maintain the good reputation that power electronics has earned as a clean, efficient and energy saving technology, work carried out and result experienced on issues as LCA, EMC, EMI and the corresponding standards have to be addressed and highlighted in the education of modern power electronic engineers. The main problem is that environmental aspects of electrical power engineering are interdisciplinary and the sense of responsibility is historically associated to non-electrical curricula within the Master’s programmes. Also, several other aspects, e.g., social aspects of engineering,...
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