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A Smart Grid Implementation for an Engineering Technology Curriculum

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Energy Conversion and Conservation Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

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Paper Authors


Reg Pecen Sam Houston State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Reg Pecen is currently a Quanta Endowed Professor of the Department of Engineering Technology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Dr. Pecen was formerly a professor and program chairs of Electrical Engineering Technology and Graduate (MS and Doctoral) Programs in the Department of Technology at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Dr. Pecen served as 2nd President and Professor at North American University in Houston, TX from July 2012 through December 2016. He also served as a Chair of Energy Conservation and Conversion Division at American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). Dr. Pecen holds a B.S in EE and an M.S. in Controls and Computer Engineering from the Istanbul Technical University, an M.S. in EE from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wyoming (UW, 1997). He served as a graduate assistant and faculty at UW, and South Dakota State University. He served on UNI Energy and Environment Council, College Diversity Committee, University Diversity Advisory Board, and Graduate College Diversity Task Force Committees. His research interests, grants, and more than 50 publications are in the areas of AC/DC Power System Interactions, distributed energy systems, power quality, and grid-connected renewable energy applications including solar and wind power systems. He is a senior member of IEEE, member of ASEE, Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society, and ATMAE. Dr. Pecen was recognized as an Honored Teacher/Researcher in “Who’s Who among America’s Teachers” in 2004-2009. Dr. Pecen is a recipient of 2010 Diversity Matters Award at the University of Northern Iowa for his efforts on promoting diversity and international education at UNI. He is also a recipient of 2011 UNI C.A.R.E Sustainability Award for the recognition of applied research and development of renewable energy applications at UNI and Iowa in general. Dr. Pecen established solar electric boat R & D center at UNI where dozens of students were given opportunities to design solar powered boats. UNI solar electric boat team with Dr. Pecen’s supervision won two times a third place overall in World Championship on solar electric boating, an international competition promoting clean transportation technologies in US waters. He was recognized as an Advisor of the Year Award nominee among 8 other UNI faculty members in 2010-2011 academic year Leadership Award Ceremony. Dr. Pecen received a Milestone Award for outstanding mentoring of graduate students at UNI, and recognition from UNI Graduate College for acknowledging the milestone that has been achieved in successfully chairing ten or more graduate student culminating projects, theses, or dissertations, in 2011 and 2005.

He was also nominated for 2004 UNI Book and Supply Outstanding Teaching Award, March 2004, and nominated for 2006, and 2007 Russ Nielson Service Awards, UNI. Dr. Pecen is an Engineering Technology Editor of American Journal of Undergraduate Research (AJUR). He has been serving as a reviewer on the IEEE Transactions on Electronics Packaging Manufacturing since 2001. Dr. Pecen has served on ASEE Engineering Technology Division (ETD) in Annual ASEE Conferences as a reviewer, session moderator, and co-moderator since 2002. He served as a Chair-Elect on ASEE ECC Division in 2011. He also served as a program chair on ASEE ECCD in 2010. He is also serving on advisory boards of International Sustainable World Project Olympiad ( and International Hydrogen Energy Congress. Dr. Pecen received a certificate of appreciation from IEEE Power Electronics Society in recognition of valuable contributions to the Solar Splash as 2011 and 2012 Event Coordinator. Dr. Pecen was formerly a board member of Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development ( and also represented UNI at Iowa Wind Energy Association (IWEA). Dr. Pecen taught Building Operator Certificate (BOC) classes for the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) since 2007 at Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri as well as the SPEER in Texas and Oklahoma to promote energy efficiency in industrial and commercial environments.

Dr. Pecen was recognized by State of Iowa Senate on June 22, 2012 for his excellent service and contribution to state of Iowa for development of clean and renewable energy and promoting diversity and international education since 1998.

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Faruk Yildiz Sam Houston State University

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Faruk Yildiz is currently an Associate Professor of
Engineering Technology at Sam Houston State University.
His primary teaching areas are in Electronics,
Computer Aided Design (CAD), and Alternative Energy Systems. Research interests include: low power energy
harvesting systems, renewable energy technologies
and education.

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A smart grid is defined as an intelligent, adaptive-balancing, self-monitoring power grid that accepts any source of fuel, regardless of fossil or renewable, and transforms it into a consumer’s end use with minimum human intervention and maximum reliability. The smart grid also allows the optimization of renewable energy use and minimizes the cumulative carbon footprint. However, synchronization of all operating power plants, including conventional and renewable ones, introduces new challenges due to their various infrastructure, dynamics, and operating characteristics.

There has been continuous progress on innovative ways of adopting smart grid schemes to new and existing curriculum in engineering and technology programs. However, the physical space needs and initial cost of distributed generation (DG) systems have made many institutions to be able concentrate on only power system simulation based studies. Hands-on inclusive smart grid applications have increased student interest for not only electrical power majors but also electronics and computer engineering technology majors due to the subjects covered in digital and graphical technologies based instrumentation and data acquisition of multiple energy resources.

This paper introduces a smart grid implementation using multiple DG sources, which include wind, solar, and hydrogen fuel cell in a junior level electrical power system class offered in a B.S. in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology program. The DG sources include a 1 kW hydrogen fuel cell unit, 0.5 kW wind turbine, and 0.5 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) panel array. The DG units are connected to a DC bus bar where a state-of-the art data acquisition and control interface (DACI) developed by FESTO smart grid technologies constitutes a smart grid implementation supported by a low voltage data acquisition and control (LVDAC) software for monitoring and recording overall power system operation variables and finally synchronization with AC grid. This paper reports normal operating and contingency cases of the aforementioned DG system variables synchronized with an AC grid in a smart grid environment. Both DACI and LVDAC modules provide monitoring and recording of multiple variables such as voltage, current, power, and frequency values.

The operation of this smart grid scheme indicates that a large-scale DC power storage from multiple DG sources is feasible once reliable battery banks are available. The results of study is very promising in terms of increasing the student interest and enthusiasm to modern electrical power systems that is integrated to a smart-grid through a state-of-the art data acquisition and instrumentation system. This paper also reports harmonics and power quality issues caused by a large-size DC to AC inverter connecting the DG modules to the AC grid. This curriculum implementation finally provides an innovative opportunity for future engineering technology students to gain necessary up-to-date competencies in a smart grid environment.

Pecen, R., & Yildiz, F. (2019, June), A Smart Grid Implementation for an Engineering Technology Curriculum Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--31996

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