This paper suggests a pedagogical approach to teaching the subject of behavioral modeling of switch-mode power electronics systems through simulation by general-purpose electronic circuit simulators. The methodology is oriented toward electrical engineering (EE) students at the undergraduate level, enrolled in courses such as “Power Electronics,” “Industrial Electronics,” or the like. The proposed approach is demonstrated by simulation example of a realistic active power factor corrector (APFC) system. The paper discusses the derivation of PSPICE/ORCAD-compatible behavioral models, their software implementation, and fast time domain, frequency domain, and stability analysis simulation techniques suitable for virtual study of complex nonlinear feedback systems. Some “tricks of the trade” are also suggested. The paper can be helpful to instructors of a “Virtual Power Electronics Laboratory” course wanting to conduct a software experiment on a PFC system.
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