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Re Wiring A Power/Motors Laboratory For Improved Student Safety

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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

Developments in the Energy Laboratories

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1223.1 - 12.1223.8



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Brelage Purdue University

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Timothy Skvarenina Purdue University

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William DeWitt Purdue University

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Thomas Robertson Purdue University

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Athula Kulatunga Purdue University

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

Re-wiring a Power/Motors Laboratory for Improved Student Safety


For over 40 years, the Purdue University EET program has included a required course that, at various times, has covered transformers, motors, basic power system calculations, relay controls, and PLCs. In the laboratory, we have used Hampden equipment with banana-plug patch cords. Since the lab equipment was installed in 1985, one student was shocked (back in 1989) and on a number of occasions, hot leads have been removed by students, accidentally or deliberately without thought, which resulted in contact with grounded cabinets. Thus, for a number of years, our laboratory safety committee has asked the power instructors to come up with a safer means of connecting the experiments. After a couple false-starts, we finally arrived at a safer method of connecting equipment, although it required replacing every socket on every piece of equipment in the lab. This paper will describe the pitfalls that were encountered and the final results of the renovation in the hope that others can avoid some of the difficulties we encountered.

Re-wiring of the power benches and equipment

The Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) program at Purdue University was founded in 1965 and has traditionally included a required power course in the sophomore year. In 1985, the program moved into renovated laboratory space and the power lab received eight new Hampden1 benches, one of which is shown in Figure 1. Each bench is equipped with single and three-phase induction motors, synchronous alternators, dc motors and generators, dc dynamometers, single- phase resistive load boxes, three-phase RLC load boxes, transmission line simulators, phase-shifting transformers, phase angle meters, and other equipment.

As originally constructed, connections Figure 1: Power lab work bench were made to the bench and other devices using banana-plug leads, as shown in Figure 2. As can be observed in Figure 2, the power supplies had sockets that only accepted banana plugs, while the ground terminal had a

Brelage, T., & Skvarenina, T., & DeWitt, W., & Robertson, T., & Kulatunga, A. (2007, June), Re Wiring A Power/Motors Laboratory For Improved Student Safety Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1821

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