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power systems, circuit breakers configurations, protection, PowerWorld, simulation, transformers.


Background: The latest technologies have created an increasing demand for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. Substations are a crucial segment of our power grid. Substations are used to step-up voltages for the long-distance transmission of energy and to stepdown voltages for industrial and residential use. The demand for substation design curriculum was discussed at a meeting of the Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC) for EET. Members of the IAC consisted of professionals from Black & Veatch and other companies that work with power systems such as substations and switchgear. The curriculum was developed in close cooperation with Black & Veatch to shape the curriculum with a practical approach.
Purpose: This paper describes the development of a substation design curriculum to be used in an Electronics Engineering Technology (EET) program at Pittsburg State University (PSU).
Method: In 2019, a PSU faculty participated in a series of NSF sponsored workshops for facilitating the teaching of electric energy (Workshops for Facilitating Faculty to Teach Electric Energy Courses for Combating Climate Change, 2019) since the EET faculty did not have a strong background in power systems. In addition, a graduate assistant with a background in power systems was recruited to create the substation design curriculum. In the same year, a visit to Black & Veatch was conducted where the substation design process was presented to a PSU faculty and the graduate assistant. It was discussed what topics should be included in the curriculum. In 2020, the substation design curriculum was introduced into an existing Electric Power course. The substation curriculum included lectures on the basics of generation, transmission, and distribution; substation components; one-line diagrams; and circuit breaker topologies. The curriculum also consisted of two labs which used the PowerWorld software and an exam. A guest speaker from Black & Veatch concluded the substation curriculum with a presentation of substation design projects. The effectiveness of the substation design curriculum was assessed by analyzing student work on one of the labs and selected questions from the exam on substation design.
Results: A rubric was applied to the lab and the average was 1.86 out of 3 points. The percentage of correct answers on selected questions in the exam was 95%.
Conclusion: Assessment results for the labs and exam showed that students learned the material and the new curriculum was effective overall. Another benefit of the substation curriculum development was that the graduate student secured an internship at Black & Veatch where he worked in designing substations. In addition, Black & Veatch offered five full scholarships to PSU students in the EET program in 2020-21 academic year and the broadening of students’ knowledge in power systems.






South Dakota State University


© American Society for Engineering Education, 2020. Posted with permission.


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