June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Energy Conversion and Conservation
12.61.1 - 12.61.9
A Mathcad Application for Teaching Energy Economics and Efficiency in Undergraduate Electric Machines Courses
A novel use of Mathcad designed for undergraduate electric machines courses bridges existing knowledge and skill gaps in the study of engineering economics and energy efficiency. Combining economics, efficiency and machine theory with detailed computer-based examples prepares students for employment where these principles must be applied to make design decisions. Mathcad supports custom designed documents called electronic handbooks that explain complex topics and provide reusable computational templates. This work uses Mathcad electronic handbook tutorial format to present economic and machine theory for finding the life- cycle costs of induction motors driving general industrial loads. The developed material provides the basis for a design project that includes technical and economic aspects.
Generally, engineering economics topics have been de-emphasized in engineering programs and replaced with other material. Some electrical engineering programs have eliminated the requirement for engineering economics in favor of other discipline-specific courses. While the trend is to eliminate this material, a need continues to exist for economic decision making in electric power conversion courses as well as other areas of engineering.1
Deregulation of electric utilities introduced significant energy price volatility especially for industrial users. Electric machine efficiency and energy costs are a significant component of an industrial consumer’s operating expenses. The lifetime of electric machines is long. Incorrectly specified machines are inefficient, costly to own, and unprofitable.
Combining motor theory and engineering economics provides students with the necessary tools and relevant context for learning these topics. Emphasizing the efficiency-load relationship promotes the proper motor sizing and industrial energy conservation. Introducing typical electric rate structures and computing power costs connects machine theory with current energy policies. Including machine reliability, energy costs, and system power losses gives students a systems view of economic decision-making, a valuable asset in industrial practice.
This paper proposes to supplement currently available material with an electronic book, written using Mathcad software, that introduces three-phase induction motor theory, demonstrates how efficiency relates to machine load, and reviews engineering economic principles. Electric rate structures are discussed, and finally, a life cycle cost analysis is conducted comparing two alternative machines.
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