on 14 September 1999
The book by Prof. Lander gives a very deep and learned account of the main features of Power Electronics. In the first three chapters the fundamentals of PE are dealt with and the main devices and circuits are presented to the reader's attention. Perhaps this book is one of the very few books concerning Electronics that do not begin with a general introduction to the physics of semiconductors: this is quite a positive aspect of the book, in my opinion, because I have often seen that this kind of introductions lengthen books without giving any information relevant to the student of Engineering. Really interesting is chapter 6, which is devoted to the study of non-motoring applications of PE: those who are interested only in the use of PE for electric drives can skip this chapter without any damage to the understanding of what follows, but I would recommend to read chapter 6 as a useful introduction to some very important subjects such as HVDC transmission, resonant converters and electrochemical processes. The exposition of frequency conversion is clear and exhaustive, even though a little more space should have been devoted to the working of inverters and PWM and much less space to cycloconverters (not much in use nowadays). Chapter 7 is an exposition of the problems that arise in the presence of harmonics; it is clear, well written and does not require any previous knowledge of Fourier analysis. The theme of Electromagnetic Compatibility is dealt with maybe a bit cavalierly and, given the scope of the book, it could have been omitted altogether and left to books specialized in EMC. Chapters 8 and 9 deal with the control of DC and AC machines and, particularly if you are interested in electric drives, this is the crowning point of the book; in the chapter concerning DC machines, you can find useful information on how choppers work, on the best ways to control DC motors, on their various kinds of operation (one- two- four-quadrant) and on the use of DC machines in traction. In chapter 9, you can find a deep and complete exposition of all you may like to know on AC machines, from cage induction motors to synchronous machines, from brushless drives to reluctance and stepper motors. The very few defects of this book are much more than overweighted by its positive and remarkable features, such as the great amount of useful worked examples, the general tone of clarity and reader-friendliness, the palpable desire to give well-founded and interesting notions. A must read for all students of Power Electronics and Electric Drives.