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A Visual Learning Tool For Presentation Of The Economic Dispatch Topic

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education III

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.131.1 - 13.131.10



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Paper Authors

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Peter Idowu Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg

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Mohamed Omer Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg

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

A Visual Learning Tool for presentation of the Economic Dispatch Topic


Computer modeling and simulation has emerged as one of the most cost effective ways for providing supplements to course lectures in diverse areas of engineering. Power systems engineering has a long history of this and has seen a range of power systems programs for commercial and educational applications. In educational contexts the simulation tool brings more clarity to concepts that are challenging for students, as well as enabling the instructor to use class instruction time more efficiently.

This paper presents a simulation tool designed to enable students gain better insight into the numerical solution of the classical Economic Dispatch Problem (EDP). The MATLABĀ® -based program visually guides the user through the computational process involved in iteratively computing the economic dispatch solution for a 9-bus power system. This simulation program serves as a tool for managing classroom time and for presenting EDP with clarity, without getting bogged down with details of the analysis.


The merits of using digital modeling and simulation in power engineering education as a means for bringing clarity to presentation of concepts is well articulated and documented in research articles [1-6]. The digital tool becomes more attractive especially when the curriculum is so crowded that the instructor must rush through a number of important topics during the semester.

The economic dispatch problem (EDP) is a classical power systems (PS) analysis problem that is broached briefly at the introductory level in typical electrical engineering (EE) undergraduate programs. The question that presents itself is: What is the most efficient way of introducing the topic given the fact that there are so many other topics that are deemed appropriate or important for a first course in power systems? Furthermore, it is very likely that this first course in power would end up as the only power related course that many EE students encounter for the duration of their undergraduate studies.

Certainly, a very efficient presentation technique becomes not only appropriate, but attractive as well. Commercial power systems analysis software are very effective in presenting a neat and organized model of the power system, and serve as a good introductory avenue for presenting system analysis problems to a new student. However, a significant amount of time within the typical 16-week curriculum is required to become familiarized with the power system software, so that students could take advantage of the visual analysis aid that it provides. The typical power system software offers the user a very convenient representation of the system in terms of basic elements such as transmission lines, transformers, power sources, connected loads, etc. The modeling of the network is usually done with a convenient drag and drop one-line diagram

Idowu, P., & Omer, M. (2008, June), A Visual Learning Tool For Presentation Of The Economic Dispatch Topic Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3215

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