Master Course Description for EE 454 (ABET Sheet)


Credits: 4

UW Course Catalog Description

Coordinator: Daniel S. Kirschen, Close Professor of Electrical Engineering

Goals: To learn the modeling and computational techniques used in power system planning and operation.

Learning Objectives: At the end of the course, the students should be able to

  1. Analyze the steady-state performance of a power system
  2. Perform power flow computations and interpret the results of these computations
  3. Identify what actions should be taken to improve the voltage profile or the line flows in a power system
  4. Perform economic dispatch calculations

Textbook: A.R. Bergen and Vijay Vittal, Power Systems Analysis, Second Edition, Prentice Hall, 2000. Supplemental notes for the course.

Prerequisites by Topic:

  1. Three phase circuits
  2. Transformers
  3. Synchronous machines
  4. Real and reactive power concepts


  1. Models of power system components (generators, load, transmission lines)
  2. Techniques for modeling large power systems
  3. Formulation of the power flow problem
  4. Solution of the power flow problem using the Newton-Raphson Method
  5. Control of power system frequency
  6. Control of power system voltage

Course Structure: The class meets for 4 hours of lectures/discussion per week. Weekly homework is assigned. Students must also develop and test a computer program that perform a power flow calculation.

Computer Resources: Computer Program for Power Flow Analysis, MATLAB

Laboratory Resources: Computers for instruction in EE labs

Grading: Homework 25%, Computer projects 25%, Midterm 25%, Final exam 25%.

Outcome Coverage:

A (M) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering. This course has an extensive component of power system modeling and analysis. Mathematical models of power system components are integrated into a system. Students use circuit analysis techniques to calculate the voltages, currents, and power flows in a power system. Students use numerical algorithms to solve the power flow problems. Basic optimization techniques are needed to determine the economic dispatch of a power system.

C. (M) An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability. In the computer projects, students are asked to formulate the operating constraints, calculate the operating values of the system, determine if the system meets the operating limits and identify the remedial actions. Students use a power flow program in the design process. Students also design a MATLAB program to calculate the transmission line parameters for various line configurations.

E. (H) An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems. The class includes various examples of power system operational problems such as line overloads and under-voltage conditions. Students are asked to identify unacceptable system operating conditions and to identify ways to meet the operating constraints. Homework problems require the students to identify the proper models and calculation techniques for power system problems.

G. (H) An ability to communicate effectively. Students submit extensive written reports on their computer projects.

H (M) The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context. The lectures consider the broad economic, social and political context in which power systems are built and operated.  Students are encouraged to take these non-technical constraints into consideration when studying power system operation and development.

K. (H) An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. A state-of-the-art power flow software package is used for the power flow problems. MATLAB tools are used for calculations of the transmission line parameters and for the development of a power flow program. Students also use modern numerical techniques for power flow analysis and economic dispatch.

Originally Prepared By: Rich. Christie

Revised by: Daniel Kirschen

Last revised: 5/7/2012