Master Course Description

EE 351


Credits: 5

UW Course Catalog Description

Coordinator: Mohamed A. El-Sharkawi, Professor, Electrical Engineering

Goals: To introduce students to:

1)      Basic components of power systems.

2)      Energy resources and Environmental impact of energy generation and utilization.

3)      Power Plants

4)      Renewable energy systems

5)      Power electronics

6)      Transformers, generator and motor

7)      Electric safety

8)      Power grid and blackouts

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, students will be able to

  1. Understand the function of the basic elements of energy systems.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of the environmental impact of energy generation and utilization
  3. Understand the various technologies for renewable energy resources.
  4. Understand the operation of the power system under normal and stressed conditions
  5. Understand the electric safety issues and the various protection methods.
  6. Work in teams to perform laboratory experiments.


Reference Texts:

Prerequisites by Topic:

  1. Circuit theory
  2. AC circuits, phasors, and RMS calculations
  3. Integral and differential calculus


  1. History of Power System Development
  2. Main Elements of Power Systems
  3. Electric Energy Resources
    • Fossil fuel
    • Nuclear
    • Renewable
  4. Environmental Impact of Electric Energy Resources
  5. Power Plants
    • Hydroelectric
    • Thermal fossil
    • Nuclear
  6. Balanced Three Phase Circuits
  7. Power Electronic Devices and Circuits
  8. Renewable Energy Systems
    • Solar
    • Wind
    • Hydrokinetic
    • Geothermal
    • Others: Biomass, fuel cell
    • Intermittency of renewable Systems: Impacts and Solution
  9. Electric Machines
    • Transformers
    • Synchronous Generator
    • Induction Motor
  10. Electric safety
  11. Distribution of Energy and Blackouts

Course Structure: The class meets for four 50-minute lectures a week. There is weekly homework and at least one midterm. There is a three-hour laboratory every other week (3-4 labs total), preceded by a one-hour laboratory discussion.

Computer Resources: Lecture material, homework and lab assignments are posted on the departmental web. Students use the internet to complete some of the assignments.

Laboratory Resources: The course uses the Energy instructional laboratory benches and instrumentation including multimeters, digital data acquisition and oscilloscopes.

Grading: Generally 20% of the grade is for laboratory performance, 20% is for homework, 30% for midterm(s), and 30% for the final exam

Laboratory Experiments

  1. Power electronic converter
  2. Renewable energy
  3. Electric energy generation and synchronization with utility grid

Outcome Coverage:

  1. a) An ability to apply math, science and engineering. Students use mathematical models of various elements of energy systems including power plants, generators, motors, power electronic circuits, transformers and transmission system. (H)
  2. b) An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data. Students submit pre-laboratory reports outlining their understanding of the objectives, circuit design and measuring instruments needed to perform the experiments. The pre-laboratory report also outlines the safety measures needed to conduct the experiments. The students interpret the measurements to determine whether the experiment results meet the objectives of the laboratory. (H)

(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. (N/A)

  1. d) An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams. Students form teams of 3 students in the laboratory. The students may have different background strength, but are cooperatively working to achieve the objectives of the experiments. This cooperation is also extended to after the laboratory where a report is prepared by the group. Each person in the group is assigned a portion of the report, and the assignment is rotating. (M)
  2. e) An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems Students are required to solve engineering problems throughout the course. (H)
  3. f) An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. The students are given talks on ethical responsibility pertaining to issues relating the generation of electric energy to the environment. (M)
  4. g) An ability to communicate effectively. The students are required to prepare written reports. Grades are given for technical and writing quality. (M)
  5. h) The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context. This course discusses the balance between societal needs for electric energy and the environmental impacts of generation and utilization. Pros and cons of each type of generation are discussed. (M)
  6. i) A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning. The course material contains areas where technologies are not fully developed yet. The students are encouraged to search the web and other resources and learn on their own the advances in various relating technologies. (L)
  7. j) Knowledge of contemporary issues. Attention is given on current energy issues such as renewable energy, environmental impacts and blackouts. Students are engaged during the lecture time in discussing and evaluating these issues. (L)
  8. k) Ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. The students are utilizing the web to obtain copies of the lecture material, to receive and/or deliver their homework or labs. The web is also used as a supplemental source of research material. In addition, the students use office software and waveform capture and data acquisition systems, and electronic circuit simulators. (M)

Prepared By: Mohamed A. El-Sharkawi

Last revised: 12/4/2012