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Electric Machines Project Activities Using Mathcad E Book

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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

Learning about Electric Energy Conversion

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.476.1 - 13.476.9



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Paper Authors

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Ilya Grinberg Buffalo State College

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Carl Spezia Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

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Herbert Hess University of Idaho

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

Electric Machines Project Activities Using a MathCAD® E-Book


Recent software advances have made a wide variety of computer-based learning tools available for teaching induction motor theory. These tutorials and visualizations typically target specific fundamental topics, require detailed knowledge of the development software to produce, and provide a rudimentary connection with other relevant practical topics like cost of operation. These fundamental applications also do not allow them to explore alternatives within the presented material. MathCAD® E-books provide a platform for student learning which avoids the shortcomings of other instructional software and combines it with actual laboratory measurements to enhance students’ learning experience. This paper presents assessment results for an E-book application that combines induction motor theory with engineering economics in a novel format. The study exposed students to several different pedagogical approaches and evaluated student learning with several different assessment tools. These approaches included traditional lecture/written homework, in-class introduction and application of the E-book, self- study using the E-book, and E-book simulations. Laboratory measurement of induction motor performance under various load levels and load types links theoretical analysis and practical motor applications. The project includes a detailed economic analysis of an induction motor application that simulates the work of practicing engineers. A data from a pilot study shows this to be a promising presentation method.

Induction Motor Analysis, Simulation, and Experiments

Analysis of induction motor parameters and performance characteristics are the cornerstones of any electric machines course. All students should understand these typical outcomes upon course completion. A review of available curricula and textbooks shows a traditional coverage of concepts and parameters that pays little or no attention to the economic aspects of induction motor selection and how mechanical load influences motor performance and efficiency. The economic impact of technical decisions is an important skill for any practicing engineer or technologist in the field. Electric machinery courses should cover these topics adequately to build the necessary practical skills.

Traditional induction motor theory emphasizes several key points to students. One of them is the speed-torque relationship and its dependency on motor parameters1-3. Current textbooks describe this topic well4-5. A typical student assignment requires students to simulate and graph such a relationship using various available software tools. Moreover, available laboratory equipment usually contains exercises, which allow students to obtain speed-torque characteristics experimentally6. Both simulation and laboratory experiments provide students with basic visualization of speed-torque characteristics. Recent advancements in computer simulation and data acquisition make it possible to enhance visualization and provide a broader and deeper coverage of material7-8. The MathCAD® E-book concept provides an easy to use method for integrating these topics and promotes student learning9.

Grinberg, I., & Spezia, C., & Hess, H. (2008, June), Electric Machines Project Activities Using Mathcad E Book Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3582

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