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A Virtual Power Laboratory

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.72.1 - 5.72.8



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Paper Authors

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William F. Horton

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Thomas Agayoff

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Saul Goldberg

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

Session 3532

A Virtual Power Laboratory

Saul Goldberg, William F. Horton, Thomas Agayoff

Electrical Engineering Department California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, California 93407


This paper describes VPLab, a virtual power laboratory designed to offer a virtual laboratory experience to students in the area of power conversion. Power conversion is a standard course in the electrical engineering curricula of many colleges of engineering. It deals with the conversion of electrical to mechanical power (motors); electrical power at one voltage level to electrical power at another voltage level (transformers); ac (alternating current) power to dc (direct current) power (rectifiers); and ac power to ac power (solid state ac controllers). A theoretical and practical background in this subject is essential to electrical as well as mechanical engineers.

Conceived as a computer based inter-active means for offering a laboratory course in power conversion, the virtual power laboratory, a computer simulation, can be utilized by students who have available a modest PC configuration. Within the virtual power laboratory are dc motors, ac motors, and single-phase and three-phase transformers, rectifier, converter and stepper motor. These devices are all modeled by the virtual power laboratory computer program to provide realistic operating characteristics. All of the device models have been designed to accurately produce the same results as actual equipment, which have been extensively tested in the laboratory. The virtual power laboratory contains a set of electrical instruments, (voltmeters, ammeters, wattmeters and oscilloscopes) and a set of mechanical instruments, (a dynamometer and tachometer). The virtual power laboratory text describes 15 experiments (laboratory exercises) utilizing the power conversion devices and instruments in a completely realistic way; each one designed using an actual laboratory experiment as a guide. Each experiment directs the student to exercise the device under study; collect and record data; and construct graphs and answer questions concerning the device, as illuminated by the experiment. A laboratory report may be submitted, as in a traditional laboratory, based on the experiment.

I. Introduction

The power conversion laboratory is often at the heart of an electrical engineering program. In this laboratory, the college/university student is introduced to the characteristics of the electrical devices used in converting power from one form to another, for example, the conversion of electrical to mechanical power in an electric motor. In a one-quarter/semester laboratory course, the student may perform some seven to ten experiments to determine the characteristics of various machines, transformers and power electronic devices.

Horton, W. F., & Agayoff, T., & Goldberg, S. (2000, June), A Virtual Power Laboratory Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8834

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