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Intended Audience: mechanical engineers


This course provides a brief introduction to the fundamental ideas of electric power generation and distribution.

Course Outline:
1. Introductory Comments
2. Notes & Commentary
— AC Power Generation Mechanics
— Power Plant Types by Fuel Sources
— Power Distribution

Learning Objectives

At the successful conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:

  • A review of the basic physics of electrical power generation;
  • An appreciation for the different generator rotor constructions (round rotors versus salient poles);
  • An understanding of the relation between rotor speed, rotor pole number, and frequency;
  • An understanding of power plant types, based on their different fuel sources;
  • An appreciation for the differences between power production in an advanced country (USA) versus the situation in an emerging country (India);
  • An appreciation for the current state of nuclear power in the USA;
  • An understanding of the terms peak, root-mean-square, line-to-neutral, and line-to-line voltages;
  • An understanding of the source of power oscillations in AC distribution systems;
  • An understanding of the factors used to compute average power transferred in a three phase distribution system;
  • An understanding of the means used to measure voltage and current in the distribution system

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