Asee peer logo

A Power Systems Protection Teaching Laboratory for Undergraduate and Graduate Power Engineering Education

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Electrical Energy Courses, Labs, and Projects II

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.90.1 - 23.90.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Jennifer Ferris Portland State University


Robert B Bass Portland State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Robert Bass is an associate professor of power engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Portland State University. His research interests pertain to electrical power systems. Current and past projects include analyzing AMI data to evaluate the efficacy of utility-sponsored mini-split heat pump installations; evaluation of power quality at PSU’s “Electric Avenue” EV Charging Stations; development of LCOE metrics for energy storage systems; optimization of heat pumps coupled with a thermal mass for residential demand response programs; and, development of a SQP optimization algorithm for multi-unit hydropower powerhouses.
His academic contributions include developing power engineering degree programs, ABET accreditation, undergraduate laboratory development and novel engineering course design. Dr. Bass specializes in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses on electric power, electromechanical energy conversion, distributed energy resources and power systems analysis.

visit author page

Download Paper |


A Power Systems Protection Teaching Laboratory for Undergraduate and Graduate Power Engineering EducationAbstractMotivated by the growing demand from the regional power industry forengineering graduates versed in power systems, as well as a need to providecontinuing education opportunities for the local power engineeringworkforce, the Electrical & Computer Engineering faculty at <> has redesigned its electrical engineering power systemsemphasis programs at both the BS and MS levels. This paper focuses onthe development of the teaching laboratory for the redesigned, 400/500-levelPower System Protection course. The educational goals of the lab are toprovide students with hands-on experience with industry protectionequipment and software, enhance the classroom-based course curriculum,and acquaint students with industry standards and design practices. Thispaper discusses the design of the lab in detail, with an emphasis on thebenefits of practical experience for students entering the electrical powerindustry workforce.The <> metropolitan area hosts numerous power-related entities,including over a dozen power engineering consultancies, twoinvestor-owned utilities, two significant federal entities focused onhydropower and transmission, several power plant developers & operators,and a growing number of high-tech manufacturers and software companiesfocused on smart-grid products. In order to provide students with practicalhands-on experiences in preparation for careers in the local power industry,we have designed the protection lab curriculum around using standardindustry relays, software and test equipment. The purpose of the protectionlab is to provide practical educational experiences for both workingprofessionals who wish to enhance their engineering education as well astraditional full-time electrical engineering students.The protection lab curriculum is designed to correlate with weekly courselecture material. Students apply concepts discussed in lecture duringlaboratory experiments. Six laboratory workstations include variouselectromechanical (EM) and digital relays, particularly over-current, distance,directional power and differential protection elements. Generatorprotection and automation control are also available for exploration. Eachteaching station also includes fuse conductors and current transformers,important elements in protective relaying schemes. Students runexperiments to identify fuse conductors through high current applicationsand examine waveform phenomena of saturated CT cores. Separately, EMrelay and digital relay setting calculations and testing for different types offaults are performed. Using ASPEN system simulation software, studentsrecord and analyze information regarding system parameters under faultconditions for balanced three-phase faults, single line faults, line-to-linefaults, and line-to-line-to-ground faults for both radial and looped systems.Students use Matlab to write setting calculations, obtained in course lectures,to calculate relay settings, based on the software parameters. Studentsdetermine the accuracy of these calculations using relay testing equipmentby performing fault simulation directly on the protective equipment. TheASPEN software is used by students to coordinate actual protection schemesfor radial and looped systems in order to explore relay coordination onmultiple bus systems These coordination tasks are balanced with directrelay assignments in order to keep labs at pace and in sync with lecturecourse material.

Ferris, J., & Bass, R. B. (2013, June), A Power Systems Protection Teaching Laboratory for Undergraduate and Graduate Power Engineering Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19104

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015