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Integrating Microcontrollers Into A Modern Energy Conversion Laboratory Course

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Computer-Assisted Lab Studies

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.921.1 - 12.921.12



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Paper Authors


Rick Haub South Dakota State University

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Rick Haub received a B.S. degree in Physics from the University of South Dakota in 1986. In 1987, while studying for his M.E. in physics at South Dakota State University, he began working for Midwest Micro-Tek in Brookings S.D. There he designed 8 and 16-bit embedded controllers and wrote custom operating systems. He is fluent in several programming languages and many dialects of assembly. His controllers can be found in many applications from industry to military to NASA and in rides at Disney World. In 2003 Rick reentered academia at South Dakota State University to finish his M.E.; preparatory to his pursuit of a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. He also maintains a private consulting firm and is currently consulting for an ethanol group in South Dakota that is building small automated ethanol facilities.

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Robert Fourney South Dakota State University

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Robert Fourney received the B.S. Degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1985. From 1985 to 1989 he worked for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He received his M.S. Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) in 1989. During the 1990s he was employed by UMCP and a computer security consulting firm. He received his Ph.D. Degree from UMCP in 2001. He has been on the faculty at South Dakota State University since 2003 and currently holds the position of Assistant Professor. His research interests include computer security, digital design, and microprocessors.

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Steven Hietpas South Dakota State University

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Steven Hietpas received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Montana State University in 1984. In 1991 and 1994 he received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the same university. From 1984 to 1989 he worked for the Space Energy Group at Space Systems Division of General Dynamics in San Diego. There, he worked in research and development of power processing/power electronics for the Shuttle Centaur program and the International Space Station program. He has been on faculty at South Dakota State University since 1994 and currently holds the position of Professor and serves as the Coordinator for the Center for Power System Studies as well as the Electrical Engineering Program. His research interests include power systems and electronics, electric drives, and control systems.

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

Integrating Microcontrollers into a Modern Energy Conversion Laboratory Course

Rick Haub, Robert Fourney and Steven Hietpas Abstract

For six years South Dakota State University has implemented major revisions to the Energy Conversion Course to include advanced topics in the area of electric drives. With these changes, the course name has been changed to Electromechanical Systems (required 400-level course with lab) to better reflect the content of the course that emphasizes a systems approach to teaching machines, power electronics, and the use of microprocessors in an electric drive system. Over these six years the development of DC permanent magnet and AC inductions motor drive systems has provided more advanced study within the lecture and required laboratory course, wherein students model power electronic drives and motors, conduct simulations to predict system behavior, and then conduct experiments to verify these predictions. The last stage of development in the upgrading of this course and laboratory has focused on a meaningful integration of the microprocessor and its use in electromechanical systems. This paper describes three AC induction motor laboratory exercises, including the objectives and the required hardware and software needed. Exercise 1 follows more traditional exercises concerning the circuit modeling of a 3-hp 3-phase induction motor but with added emphasis in establishing key motor parameters useful in the design of a V/Hz motor drive. Exercise 2 builds on this model and allows students to design/establish key gain parameters for an in-house open-loop V/Hz motor drive that results in optimal speed performance of the induction motor for a given operating point. The in-house V/Hz motor drive has a user interface that allows direct manipulation of these key gain parameters. Exercise 3 provides students a culminating experience requiring them to use their knowledge of the motor and electric drive system to write and implement a pulse-width-modulation and frequency control algorithm that produces the required drive signals to the power stage of the electric drive. This approach is a distinct shift from a traditional machines laboratory approach, by providing an innovative means to exposing students to a realistic microprocessor-based application, while helping them to gain a complete understanding of a modern electromechanical system.

I. Introduction

South Dakota State University designed and constructed a unique electric machines laboratory, which was completed in 20021-2 to accommodate major revisions to the required Energy Conversion Course that now includes advanced topics in the area of electric drives3-4. Additionally, efforts have been made to also include elements of control systems theory5. The final addition to the course provides an avenue for students to use their knowledge of microprocessors, assembly and C languages in the coding of a pulse-width-modulation and frequency control algorithm needed in a volts/Hertz (V/Hz) 3-phase induction motor drive.

Proceedings of the 2007 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2007, American Society for Engineering Education

Haub, R., & Fourney, R., & Hietpas, S. (2007, June), Integrating Microcontrollers Into A Modern Energy Conversion Laboratory Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1917

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