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Enhancing Electric Energy Conversion And Power Systems Laboratory Experiments Utilizing A Power System Simulator

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.177.1 - 2.177.8

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Paper Authors

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James L. Hales

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

Session 2333

Enhancing Electric Energy Conversion and Power Systems Laboratory Experiments Utilizing a Power System Simulator

James L. Hales, P.E. Associate Professor University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown


In 1993, the Engineering Technology Division of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown purchased and installed a Hampden Model 180 Power System Simulator. Funding was provided in part by a $100,000 National Science Foundation Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement (ILI) equipment grant. The additional funding for the total purchase cost of $325,000 was provided from gifts of alumni and friends of the University and other resources of the University.

The simulator has been used every term in rotating machines laboratories for both electrical (EET) and mechanical (MET) engineering technology students and in power systems laboratories for the EET students. Student reaction to this new equipment has been very positive. Laboratory experiments are more efficient--requiring considerably less setup time than that experienced in previous rotating machines laboratories. Students are able to leave with a better vision of a "power system" rather than a sampling of pieces or components.

The simulator can be operated manually, utilizing switches and circuit breakers mounted on the equipment, or remotely, with an interconnected personal computer and associated software. This allows students to develop a "feel" for how electric utility operators control modern electrical power plants and electrical power transmission and distribution systems.

The paper gives examples of several specific laboratory activities which students undertake and the enhancement the activities provide for learning about power system concerns and problems.


The equipment used in the rotating machines/power systems laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) had been in use for twenty years or more. Some of the equipment was becoming difficult to maintain in a reasonable state of repair. A decision was made to investigate alternative equipment possibilities. After studying equipment specifications and making visits to observe equipment installed in other locations, it was further decided to proceed with a "power system" rather than individual items of equipment. It was recognized from the beginning that this decision had two major disadvantages. First, it would be expensive, and secondly, because of this expense and also its size, it would only be possible and reasonable to purchase one such unit. This left us with the question of how to use it with 8-12 students in a

Hales, J. L. (1997, June), Enhancing Electric Energy Conversion And Power Systems Laboratory Experiments Utilizing A Power System Simulator Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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