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BYOE: Self-Contained Power Supply Experiments with an Instrumented Transformer

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies - Bring Your Own Experiment

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Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

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Harry Courtney Powell University of Virginia

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Harry Powell is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia. After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering in1978 he was an active research and design engineer, focusing on automation, embedded systems, remote control, and electronic/mechanical co-design techniques, holding 16 patents in these areas. Returning to academia, he earned a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2011 at the University of Virginia. His current research interests include machine learning, embedded systems, electrical power systems, and engineering education.

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Transformer based power supply laboratories have been a staple of electrical engineering laboratory exercises for decades, and many have remained unchanged since the 1970's. Such experiments are typically found in curricula at both 4-year universities and 2-year colleges and are sometimes performed as part of an experimental sequence in physics courses as well. In many cases, they are part of a first or second course in electrical and computer engineering and all too frequently are presented in a somewhat superficial manner. Furthermore, the transformer is often assembled in an ad hoc fashion, and students are advised to be aware of safety concerns as lethal voltages may be involved. In this BYOE we present an instrumented transformer system designed at UXX that is completely protected from a student safety standpoint and is applicable for student experiments ranging in level from advanced secondary education to 2-year institutions as well as upper-level undergraduates in 4 year electrical and computer engineering undergraduate programs. A unique feature of this system is the integration of a lossless closed loop Hall effect current sensor that allows students to visualize the transformer currents as well as voltages. The waveforms for these currents are rarely visualized in the laboratory, yet having them available enables a new dimension in functionality for power supply experiments. For example, when it is used for experiments in upper-level high school physics projects, the current may just be observed. Alternatively, when employed in advanced electrical engineering courses the laboratory may include spectral analysis of the current waveforms and exploration of how power supply design affects harmonics seen on the A.C. line; these topics rarely addressed at the undergraduate level. We also present sequences of experiments that apply to a number of different pedagogical levels and include voltage regulator experiments that involve both discrete and integrated components. Complete plans and assembly guidelines are also given.

Powell, H. C. (2017, June), BYOE: Self-Contained Power Supply Experiments with an Instrumented Transformer Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27995

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