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Simulation Learning Experiences In Energy Conversion With Simulink And Sim Power Systems

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Energy Learning through Simulation and Analysis

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1131.1 - 11.1131.17



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Paper Authors


David McDonald Lake Superior State University

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David McDonald has over thirty years of teaching experience in electrical engineering and engineering technology. Recent teaching has been in electrical machines, signal processing, 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



The paper discusses introducing simulation into an introductory the introduction of physical modeling in an electrical machinery course using Simulink and the SimPowerSystems software. The paper provides a brief overview of the software with basic examples, and discusses faculty considerations for integrating the software in a class or laboratory. The integration of simulation is a work in progress, and the paper outlines initial outcomes assessment and future plans.


Engineering professionals in education and industry are concerned about enhancing the effectiveness and productivity of the design process through the use of simulation software. The high cost of engineering development activities in industry has fostered an interest in model- based design approaches that use computer-based modeling, simulation and model validation tools. The high initial and maintenance cost of laboratory equipment is also a concern for both industry and education, and limited equipment can be augmented by including simulation and model validation learning experiences that help to prepare students for modern industry.

The traditional instruction in electrical device modeling in typical energy conversion courses can be enhanced using modern software tools to enhance student learning and motivation while providing simulation experiences that many students will encounter in industry. MATLAB, Simulink and SimPowerSystems software products by MathWorks Inc. provide high-level model development, simulation and model validation capability. This software allows the engineer to build physical models of electrical circuits and electro-mechanical devices, and has a library of models for power conversion components such as single and three-phase circuits and loads, power electronics, transformers, motors, generators, motor drives and instrumentation accessories.

The remainder of the paper will discuss the initial introduction of simulation activities using physical modeling software into an electrical machinery course. It will briefly discuss the need for Simulation in Energy Conversion Engineering, provide Overview of SimPowerSystems software, provide a few specific Examples of SimPowerSystems that could be used for homework or laboratory problems, discuss Instructional Considerations, and review the Outcomes Assessment and Future Plans for using simulation activities. The discussion is based upon the introduction of simple simulation exercises within an introductory level course in electro-mechanical energy conversion.

McDonald, D. (2006, June), Simulation Learning Experiences In Energy Conversion With Simulink And Sim Power Systems Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1127

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