June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Energy Conversion and Conservation
A topic in electric power engineering that students commonly struggle with is power quality. Traditional power quality issues such as harmonics, transients, and unbalanced load phenomena are now more noticeable with the introduction of nonlinear components, such as power electronic converters, into electric power system architectures. These equipment interaction concepts are sparsely covered in classes, and are rarely seen in a laboratory setting. Students, especially those graduating with only an undergraduate degree, generally experience these issues when they enter the workforce, having to complete on the job training in order to become comfortable with power quality matters.
A new power quality course was created at the University of Pittsburgh, in the Spring 2018 semester. This course uses a novel approach to teaching students power quality concepts by using an electric power laboratory, designed specifically for undergraduate education. Students work with real electric motors, transformers, variable frequency drives, and DC power electronics to understand the impacts of these loads on a 208Vac, 75kVA rated system. A custom, 5kW rated work bench featuring compact fluorescent loads, as well as traditional single-phase or three-phase linear resistive, capacitive, and inductive loads is also used to highlight the issues of having an unbalanced power system. The student experience is based upon measurement and data acquisition to develop visual frameworks coupled with traditional whiteboard discussions.
This paper contains a description of the course, its learning outcomes, lecture plans, assignments, laboratory experiments, and exam content. Student assessments, evaluations, and opinions are also included to show the benefits of how the class improved student understanding of power quality. A rubric was designed and employed which provides prognostics and analytics about the perceived value of the course. Lastly, a conclusion of the course from the instructor’s point of view, including lessons learned and future improvements is provided.
Cook, T. V., & Kerestes, R. J., & Grainger, B. M. (2019, June), Visualizing Power-Quality Phenomena in a Hands-On Electric Power Systems Laboratory Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33542
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