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Software Simulation to Reinforce Learning in a Power Systems Analysis Course

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ASEE Middle Atlantic 2022 Fall Conference


Middletown, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

November 11, 2022

Start Date

November 11, 2022

End Date

February 25, 2024

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Rafic Bachnak P.E. Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, The Capital College

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Rafic Bachnak is Professor of Electrical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg. Previously, Dr. Bachnak was on the faculty of Texas A&M International University, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Northwestern State University, and Franklin University. Dr. Bachnak received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Ohio University. His experience includes several fellowships with NASA and the US Navy Laboratories and employment with Koch Industries. Dr. Bachnak is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, a senior member of IEEE and ISA, and a member of ASEE.

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Peter Idowu P.E. Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, The Capital College

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Dr. Peter Idowu is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University - Harrisburg, and Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies.

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Abstract- Software simulation has become an integral component of a comprehensive learning experience in engineering and technology programs. Popular software packages include PSpice, LabVIEW, MATLAB/Simulink, and Multisim. This paper describes the use of software packages for developing several laboratory exercises that reinforce learning in a power systems analysis course. The main purpose of these exercises was to supplement the classroom lectures with laboratory materials that correspond to the topics covered in the textbook. These topics include three phase power, transformers, transmission lines, power flows, faults, and system protection. During the semester, students completed a total of nine exercises and worked on a final project that included an oral presentation. The exercises ranged from writing simple MATLAB code that perform computations and graph results to more complex and practical applications such as simulation of three-phase power circuits and synchronous generators using Simulink. Simulink is a graphical programming environment that offers easy integration with the MATLAB environment to model, simulate, and analyze real-world systems and has been used to help in the design and simulation of power systems. Students also completed three simulation exercises using ETAP, an electrical analysis software package that is suitable for monitoring, control, operator training, optimizing, and automating power systems. The overall goal is to enhance the students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills and train them to apply effective solutions by identifying alternative approaches, testing systems, and comparing results. Students prepared written reports that included a one to two-page conclusion where they described their designs, explained the operation of the systems, discussed results, mentioned problems they faced, stated what they have learned, and suggested ways to improve the laboratory assignments. The paper will briefly describe the laboratory activities, show how students were exposed to a wide range of applications, and provide details about the Simulink and ETAP exercises, including schematic diagrams.

Bachnak, R., & Idowu, P. (2022, November), Software Simulation to Reinforce Learning in a Power Systems Analysis Course Paper presented at ASEE Middle Atlantic 2022 Fall Conference, Middletown, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--44685

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