Master Course Syllabus for EE 456 (ABET sheet)
Title: COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN IN POWER SYSTEMS
Coordinator: Richard D. Christie, Associate Professor, Electrical
Goals: This course provides seniors majoring in the power and energy
specialty and practicing engineers with skills in handling open-ended design
problems in large scale power systems.
Objectives: At the end of this course, students will be able to
- Propose, formulate and solve open-ended design problems in the power systems area.
- Write formal project reports.
- Make formal project presentations.
- Work in teams with heterogeneous knowledge and skills.
- Apply engineering economics, power flow, stability analysis and fault analysis computer
tools to support analysis of design solutions.
- Demonstrate an awareness of current issues in power system design.
Textbook: Class notes, technical papers and reports.
- Writing in the Technical Fields, by Mike Markel, IEEE Publication
- Writing Reports to Get Results, by Ron S. Blicq and Lisa A. Moretto, IEEE Publication
Prerequisites by Topic:
- Elementary power and energy concepts
- Steady-state and/or dynamic analysis of power systems
- Computer literacy with word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software, and running
- Design in Power Systems - 2 weeks
- Generation Planning - 3.5 weeks
- Transmission System Planning - 3.5 weeks
- Project Reports - Written and Oral - 1 week
Course Structure: The class meets for two lectures a week, each
consisting of two 50-minute sessions. Initially weekly homework is assigned,
culminating in a 50 minute examination. After project work starts, students
work in teams. There are weekly project review meetings with each team, and
seminars on relevant topics during scheduled class meeting times. A written and
oral project report from each tem is due at the end of the course. There is no
Computer Resources: Homework and software projects can be done on a
PC. Analytical tools (programs) are provided to the students. Only minimal
programming is required. For example, students may have to set up present worth
calculations in a spreadsheet. Individual project presentations may be made using
on-line computer projection systems.
Grading: Homework and short projects accounts for about a third of
the course grade. The final project report accounts for about half. The
remainder is from the scheduled examination.
Laboratory Resources: None.
Outcome Coverage: This course provides the ABET major design
experience and addresses all of the basic ABET outcomes.
(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and
engineering. The design of electric power systems by its very nature
demands constant use of knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering. The
various components of the design interact in ways based on science, and
described mathematically. The design of a system to a given set of objectives
is a fundamental application of engineering knowledge. This, a successful
design shows the student's achievement of this outcome.
(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze
and interpret data. The design process has an analysis step in which the
students must design and conduct experiments, and interpret the results to
determine whether their design meets specifications. This process occurs many
times in the course of the design process, and is documented in the project report.
(c) 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. The students are given a set of specifications for an
example power system and asked to develop a generation expansion plan and a
transmission reinforcement plan that modifies an existing power system to meet
these specifications. Students must choose among design alternatives on the
basis of economic costs versus environmental, social and political
considerations. The choice has ethical implications. A discussion of pollution
effects - a mini-environmental impact statement - is required in one project
report. Students are asked to consider renewable resources as one alternative
in the generation planning portion of the design project. An actual power
system cannot be built, and time prohibits the level of detailed physical
design (e.g. geographical tower placement, span calculations, substation
layout) necessary to ensure that the designed system can be built.
Manufacturability is thus intentionally not well met by this course. A one hour
seminar is conducted on electromagnetic field health effects. During project
presentations the instructor plays the role of the skeptical general public, to
reinforce the political considerations involved in the power system planning
(d) an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams. Students will
operate in teams of 3 to solve the design problem and prepare a final report.
Students will take different roles in the design team, such as leader,
explorer, reflector, or recorder. Rotating leadership is recorded on
assignments and progress reports. Team members naturally tend to specialize in
one aspect of the design problem, such as security analysis versus economics,
creating a multi-disciplinary environment within the team.
(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
The design problem presents itself as a series of interconnected engineering
problems. In the open-ended design environment, the engineering problems are
not explicitly stated, but must be identified by the design team before they
can be solved. Evidence of this should appear in the project report and
(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. After
project work starts, a one hour seminar on professional ethics will be run that
covers the IEEE ethics guidelines, some case studies, and some ethics role
playing. Student teams will provide a written analysis of a case study.
(g) an ability to communicate effectively. Teams must prepare an
extensive written project report, and make an oral presentation at the end of
the class. Each team member must write a section of the report, and each team
member must make part of the presentation. Grades are given for writing quality
and presentation quality, as well as technical content of the reports.
(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of
engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal
context. In seminars, various social impacts of power systems are
discussed and described, ranging from market fairness to electromagnetic field
concerns. Constraints on the projects include environmental and social
concerns. During presentations, the course instructor takes the role of
different social groups in asking questions.
(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long
learning. The course material distributed does not contain all of the
information necessary to solve the design problem. Students must consult
reference sources and inform themselves concerning certain aspects of the
design problem. This will help students realize that they need to be able to
learn material on their own, and given them some of the necessary skills. One
assignment on finding information from the Web and the Library is made early in
(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues. The design problem is
constructed to focus attention on current power system issues such as
deregulation, load growth, and transient stability problems. These will appear
in the project report. In addition, seminars later in the class address current
issues in power engineering.
(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering
tools necessary for engineering practice. Students are expected to use
spreadsheets to perform economic analysis, and are provided with power flow,
stability and fault current analysis tools with basic capabilities similar to
those of equivalent commercial programs. Evidence of the use of these tools,
and associated techniques, appears in the project report.
(a2) knowledge of mathematics through differential and integral
calculus, basic sciences, computer science, and engineering sciences necessary to
analyze and design complex electrical and electronic devices, software, and
systems containing hardware and software components, as appropriate to program
objectives. This course centers on the design of large scale electric
power systems, which have been described as the largest man-made system on
earth. Successful completion of the design project demonstrates achievement of
ABET Criterion 4 Considerations
Engineering standards - Students are provided with realistic
specifications which must be satisfied by their generation and transmission
designs. Note that at this level of power system design, standards are set by
individual companies, and there is a range of variation, so there is no one
universal standard to be applied.
Realistic constraints - The design problem has been carefully
formulated to provide realistic constraints on the power system, including both
technical constraints and costs. While a physical realization of the design
cannot be achieved, a design exercise is run early in the course to emphasize
the need to apply realistic constraints even in a paper design exercise.
Preparer: R. D. Christie
Last revised: 4/27/05