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A State Of The Art Energy And Electric Drives Laboratory Designed And Implemented By Undergraduate And Graduate Students

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.105.1 - 9.105.14

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Paper Authors

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Steven Hietpas

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526

A State-of-the-Art Energy and Electric Drives Laboratory Designed and Implemented by Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Steven M. Hietpas

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science South Dakota State University, SD 57007


Energy Conversion courses for the past 100 years have primarily focused on the fundamental concepts of machine theory and the conversion between mechanical and electrical energy. Based on these concepts an undergraduate energy conversion course would typically cover topics in DC motors and AC synchronous and asynchronous motors. The trend in the last 10 years has been to reduce the amount of time spent on the fundamentals of DC and AC machines and to incorporate DC and AC electric drives into the course content. To support this trend, South Dakota State University has incorporated major revisions to the Energy Conversion Course which now includes topics in electric drives. With these changes, a new energy conversion and electric drives (ECED) laboratory has been designed and implemented, providing students a laboratory for which they actually operate systems that make use of these technologies, while conducting the laboratory exercises. The uniqueness of this laboratory is two-fold: 1) The laboratory is completely automated, using (a) Human Machine Interface (HMI) and a power processing system (PPS) for safe distribution of resources (power sources and loads) student Power Workbenches (PWBs), and (b) Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) hardware/software to monitor and control Automatic Load Bank (ALBs), 2) the entire laboratory, including the HMI, PPS, PWBs, ALBs and SCADA system, were designed, constructed and tested by 13 undergraduate students and one graduate electrical engineering student over a period of four years. The new laboratory, commissioned in September of 2002, has worked flawlessly for three full semesters, and has been a showcase for prospective incoming electrical engineering students. This paper describes the general philosophy and design of the laboratory, the functionality and operational use of the laboratory, an overview of how students were integrated into the overall laboratory design and development phases, and finally, perspectives from students who are taking the modified version of the Energy Conversion course and its associated laboratory course.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Hietpas, S. (2004, June), A State Of The Art Energy And Electric Drives Laboratory Designed And Implemented By Undergraduate And Graduate Students Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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