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Using a Virtual Platform for Teaching Electrical Machines and Power Systems Courses

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Software and Web-based Learning in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1305.1 - 23.1305.18



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Paper Authors


Radian G Belu Drexel University (Tech.)

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Dr. Radian Belu is Assistant Professor within the Engineering Technology (ET) program - Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. He is holding the second position as Research Assistant Professor at Desert Research Institute – Renewable Energy Center, Reno, Nevada. Before joining to the Drexel University Dr. Belu hold faculty and research positions at universities and research institutes in Romania, Canada and United States. He also worked for several years in industry as a project manager and senior consultant. He has taught and developed undergraduate and graduate courses in electronics, power systems, control and power electronics, electric machines, instrumentation, radar and remote sensing, numerical methods and data analysis, space and atmosphere physics, and physics. His research interests included power system stability, control and protection, renewable energy system analysis, assessment and design, power electronics and electric machines for wind energy conversion, radar and remote sensing, wave and turbulence simulation, measurement and modeling, numerical modeling, electromagnetic compatibility and engineering education. During his career Dr. Belu published several papers in referred journals and in conference proceedings in his areas of the research interests. He has also been PI or co-PI for various research projects United States and abroad in power systems analysis and protection, load and energy demand forecasting and analysis, renewable energy analysis, assessment and design, turbulence and wave propagation, radar and remote sensing, instrumentation, atmosphere physics, electromagnetic compatibility, and engineering education.

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Irina Nicoleta Ciobanescu Husanu Drexel University (Tech.)

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Dr. Ciobanescu Husanu is Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Drexel University. She received her PhD degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and also a MS degree in aeronautical engineering. Her research interest is in thermo-fluid sciences with applications in micro-combustion, fuel cells, green fuels and plasma assisted combustion. Dr. Husanu has prior industrial experience in aerospace engineering that encompasses both theoretical analysis and experimental investigations such as designing and testing of propulsion systems including design and development of pilot testing facility, mechanical instrumentation, and industrial applications of aircraft engines. Also, in the past 8 years she gained experience in teaching ME and ET courses in both quality control and quality assurance areas as well as in thermal-fluid, energy conversion and mechanical areas from various levels of instruction and addressed to a broad spectrum of students, from freshmen to seniors, from high school graduates to adult learners. She also has extended experience in curriculum development.

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First Results with a Virtual Platform for the Renewable Energy Technology CoursesIn the modern world, where everything changes at an extremely fast rate, a constant andeveryday updating of knowledge is necessary. The recent growth of renewable energy usage as aresult of the installation of more and more generating units leads to development of new andeffective tools for monitoring and control regarding these systems but also to the training ofspecialists in the field of renewable energy systems. Nowadays all energy companies usealternative and renewable energy sources applications. As those technologies change quickly,instructors, engineers and researchers need to keep this fast pace and improve their knowledgeand keep up with innovative concepts. Since traditional learning methods are time consumingand sometimes impractical, learning through the Internet seems maybe the only effective andfeasible solution. There is a need for new learning tools and practical experiences which can nowbe met by new teaching methods, as so called virtual learning. In recent years due to the Internetadvances, the growing interest and the fast development of computer technologies, E-Learninghas been well accepted in many different education areas and at many universities. Computingand communication technology have had a significant impact on engineering education,improving online, distance, and collaborative learning, as well as the use of the virtual andremote distance experiments, laboratories and simulations in the engineering education. On theother hand, the technology has a great development rate and it is mandatory not only forstudents, but also for professionals, engineers, and technicians to be informed about theirdomains’ new features. Distance-learning programs and remote laboratories are ideal forprofessionals, who need to update their knowledge and skills. These tools developed are mainlydesigned as a base for a virtual laboratory that can be used for the study of renewable energyparameters, representing, by didactical point of view, a handful way for students to study thephenomenology and also a training tool for specialists, technicians and engineers in the field ofrenewable energy and energy conversion technologies. This paper presents a virtual platformconceived for the study of the renewable energy sources and energy conversion systems.Besides of the study of the generated renewable energy or energy conversion system parameters,the monitoring using virtual instrumentation is implemented. The virtual platform realized usingthe LabVIEW, Interactive Data Language and MATLAB/Simulink environments. It will providestudents with enhanced tools of study, virtual experiments on renewable energy sources, energyconversion and hybrid power systems. The proposed system provides the learner withinformation about the most important functions, principles and operational problems of each ofthe renewable energy sources and energy systems included

Belu, R. G., & Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N. (2013, June), Using a Virtual Platform for Teaching Electrical Machines and Power Systems Courses Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22690

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