June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Energy Conversion and Conservation
12.364.1 - 12.364.9
Classroom Studies in Power Flow and Transmission Lines by means of PSCAD/EMTDC
Classroom studies by means of software tools are a major part of the senior-level course requirements of any electrical engineering program that offers majors in power systems. Student interest and enrollment however were in decline in this area until recently1, due to the limited number of available positions in the related industry and the erroneous impression that electric power had narrow future for new developments compared to the impressive achievements in other fields of electrical engineering. This trend is changing and it is expected to continue to change for the next five to ten years because of anticipated retirements and increased demand of electrical engineers in the power systems and renewable energy fields2.
The power systems major in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) is currently under reconstruction as a result of increased student enrollment and availability of positions in the local power utility industry. Curriculum changes and new courses in renewable energy, electric drives, power systems protection and a review of the introductory course in power engineering are ongoing projects. It is anticipated that all these changes and improvements will be completed in the near future.
This ongoing process requires the utilization of software and hardware tools in order to educate the students that choose power systems as their area of concentration. Hardware is traditionally more expensive to acquire because of limited funding sources. Software on the other hand allows the students to study even at times when the hardware laboratory facilities are not operational, since computer-based laboratories do not usually require constant supervision. In particular, our faculty employs software that is used by professionals and research centers nationwide, and thus the students are given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the operation of tools similar to those that most likely they will have to use after they join the workforce.
Demonstration of advanced concepts during regular class lectures in the courses of Introduction to Power Engineering (IPE), Power Electronics (PE), and Power Systems I and II (PS I/II) is another area where software tools are frequently used in the ECE program. This tread developed because of the aging laboratory equipment, the limited funding for extensive hardware upgrades, and the fact that students seem to comprehend theory easier by means of multimedia tools.
2. Power Systems Studies
The majority of power systems courses require a decent background in mathematics. Hence, a heavy load of studying time is required by every student who is enrolled in a power class, even when the material is introductory. The PS I and II are no exception to that rule. In fact this was one of the reasons that employment of advanced software was deemed necessary. Conventional methods of determining certain parameters of a power system are still taught in power classes; the ECE faculty however offers additional training to the students by means of PSCAD/EMTDC, a software simulation package distributed by the Manitoba HVDC Research Center in Canada3.
Chalkiadakis, F. (2007, June), Classroom Studies In Power Flow And Transmission Lines By Means Of Pscad/Emtdc Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1644
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