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Power Conversion Coursework Using A Solid State Tesla Coil

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Learning about Power Systems and Power Consumption

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

15.965.1 - 15.965.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16564

Download Count

417

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Paper Authors

biography

Justin Reed University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Justin Reed received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2005 and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2008. He is currently working towards the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC), where he has experience as a teaching assistant for several electrical engineering courses. His interests include engineering education, power electronics, motors and renewable energy applications.

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biography

Daniel Ludois University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Dan Ludois received the B.S. degree in physics from Bradley University in Peoria, IL in 2006 and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2008. He is currently working towards the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC). Dan has several years of experience as a teaching assistant for electromagnetics, power conversion and renewable energy courses. In addition to engineering education, Dan’s interests include power electronics, electric machines and applied electromagnetics.

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Maria Hamlin University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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Maria Hamlin is an assistant professor of Science Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Her research interests include equity and access issues in mathematics and science, STEM initiatives, multicultural mathematics and science education. Dr. Hamlin earned her B.A.S. in Teaching Mathematics from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She completed her M.S. in Science Education, M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and her Ph.D. in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan.

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

Power Conversion Coursework Using a Solid State Tesla Coil

Introduction

Comprehensive electrical engineering curricula involve both analytical design and experimental components. In the area of power electronics, these components can be integrated using a sample application of the course material such as a buck or boost converter. This converter is then gradually analyzed and/or designed during the course using open-ended homework questions for teaching students valuable problem solving skills in addition to the core course material. Coupled with the physical construction of the sample application throughout the duration of the course, the students receive an education rich in both theoretical and practical scopes.

The authors recently designed and constructed a solid state Tesla coil (or SSTC, shown in Figure 1) for use in demonstrations to stimulate K-12 interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. In response to the subsequent interest of both practicing engineers and college engineering students in the SSTC, this paper proposes its use as a sample application in a power conversion course.

Tesla coils have long been used in physics demonstrations to engage audiences and rouse interest in the sciences and engineering. More recently, solid state power electronics have been used to drive Tesla coils, allowing much greater control over the arcs and permitting the production of music with their plasmas. It is expected, then, that the use of an SSTC in a power electronics or other power conversion course could improve student engagement throughout the course as compared to more conventional sample applications. Furthermore, it will be shown that the knowledge base necessary to build an SSTC spans far more technical areas than required in most conventional power electronics projects, and therefore justifies the SSTC as practical classroom exercise. The hypotheses presented in this paper are investigated and further evaluated with a survey to gauge student interest in enrolling in a power electronics course based on a variety of sample applications, including the SSTC.

(a) (b) (c) Figure 1: Solid state Tesla coil. (a) Actual Tesla coil used in this paper, (b-c) examples of plasma effects seen during operation (photography by Tim Obermann).

Reed, J., & Ludois, D., & Hamlin, M. (2010, June), Power Conversion Coursework Using A Solid State Tesla Coil Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16564

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