Prof. Harry Franz, P.E., University of Houston- Downtown
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition
Copyright @2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Reprinted with the permission of ASEE.
This paper discusses the creation of a Virtual Electrical Power Systems Laboratory for the University of Houston–Downtown in Houston, Texas. Electrical Power Systems, the electrical engineering technology EET-3334 course, contains the basics principles and applications of electrical power systems.
Both circuit simulation software and LabVIEW are used to create exercises and design projects. Included in the course are practical lighting designs and motor controls. Also included is computer simulation of electrical single phase and three phase power systems, and various related applications.
The class students have a diverse technical experience level and a varied background in academics. The circuit software and LabVIEW software have both been chosen to provide easily useable software for all of the class students.
Three-phase electrical power generation by DELTA and WYE generators with combinations of WYE and DELTA loads is simulated on software. Both balanced and unbalanced loads are simulated. Using software, a visual demonstration has been created that shows the resulting consequences of what occurs when balanced loads become unbalanced. The visual demonstration also shows what can be done to correct imbalances in the circuits.
LabVIEW software has been used to create a cost effective user-friendly electrical power systems virtual laboratory. The LabVIEW class exercises are designed to concurrently familiarize the students with the use of LabVIEW and with electrical power systems.
Innovative laboratory projects to design automatic motors control systems, automation power factor correction, automatic load wire sizing, and related applications all have been completed by the students using LabVIEW.
The electrical power systems laboratory at first uses the basics of LabVIEW and then as the course progresses the more advanced LabVIEW features. Students create practical designs of motor control panels and systems. Final course student project designs use LabVIEW.