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Using Industrial Test Equipment in an Undergraduate Electrical Machinery Lab Setting

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Energy Conservation

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

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Paper Authors


Glenn T. Wrate P.E. Northern Michigan University

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Glenn T. Wrate received his B.S.E.E. and M.S.E.E. from Michigan Technological University (MTU) in 1984 and 1986, respectively. While attending MTU, he worked for Bechtel Power Corporation on the Belle River and Midland power generating stations. After graduating MTU, he worked for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from 1986 to 1992, primarily in the Special Studies and High Voltage DC (HVDC) Stations Group. He returned to MTU in 1992 to pursue a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. While completing his research he worked in the relay testing group at Northern States Power Company in Minneapolis.
After obtaining his Ph.D., Glenn accepted an appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). In 1999 he was promoted to Associate Professor, in 2001 he won the Falk Engineering Educator Award and was promoted to head the Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) program. He received the Karl O. Werwath Engineering Research Award in 2003. In 2004 he moved from the MSE program to take over the Electrical Engineering program. After guiding the program through accreditation, he stepped down in 2007.
Dr. Wrate has now returned to his boyhood home and is teaching at Northern Michigan University. He is a member of HKN and IEEE, a Registered Professional Engineer in California, and is a past chair of the Energy Conversion and Conservation Division of ASEE.

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Joe Routhier Northern Michigan University

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Joe Routhier earned his associate degree in Mechanical Design at Michigan Technological University. Upon graduation, Joe worked as a Product Designer at both Generac Engine Powered Tools in Waukesha, WI and at Bruno Independent Living Aids in Oconomowoc, WI. Subsequently, Joe earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Education and shifted from industry in to the classroom. Joe spent 15 years teaching Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) and Manufacturing in a Certified Technical Education (CTE) program at Gwinn High School in Gwinn, MI. Joe earned his master’s in Secondary Education from Northern Michigan University and is currently working on his Ed S degree.

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To prepare engineers and engineering technologists for the “real world” work environment, it would be best if test equipment similar to that being used in industry was used in the laboratory. The problem with this is that most of the machines – transformers, motors, and generators – in undergraduate laboratories are considerably smaller than those in industry. Transformers are typically in the tens, or, at most, hundreds of volt-amperes and rotating machines are typically fractional horsepower. This means that in the lab the currents are usually in the milliampere range. Industrial test equipment is usually designed to measure in the kVA range. For example, the standard current probes on Fluke power meters are designed for 600 A. The smallest current probe available from Fluke that can handle both AC and DC is designed for 30 A. This paper will discuss a method to allow industrial test equipment to be used in undergraduate labs. Our solution is to use multiple turns of wire (bobbins) in the current probes. Since these devices are not readily available, as part of the solution, an engineering design class was tasked to develop the bobbins that are used. The experiences of the students in the design of this solution are also presented. In the design process, several iterations of the bobbins were performed by one instructor/class while the bobbins were being used by another instructor/class. Finally, it is hoped that other universities can use the designs presented in their laboratories. Tags: Industrial test equipment; undergraduate electrical machinery labs; voltage, current, and power measurements

Wrate, G. T., & Routhier, J. (2017, June), Using Industrial Test Equipment in an Undergraduate Electrical Machinery Lab Setting Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29077

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