To break the nation’s heavy dependence on carbon-based fuel, efforts are underway to significantly increase the use of renewable energy sources (e.g., solar and wind). The potential widespread use of renewable resources represents a major paradigm shift for the electric power industry (i.e., centralized power generation substantially augmented by distributed generation). It is widely recognized by both the electric utilities and governmental policy makers that this paradigm shift requires that the current power grid be revised considerably to be smarter (e.g., integrated communications, advanced components/sensors, novel control methods, etc.). Given the situation described above, the demand for engineers with knowledge in energy-related areas is on the rise. For example, power companies are searching for new employees who can help them integrate renewable forms of energy into the grid; furthermore, power companies are searching for ways to enhance the energy-related skill set of their existing employees.
To address the above issues, the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has developed a new renewable energy certificate program and a new power systems engineering certificate program at the undergraduate level. The courses associated with the certificate programs will be eventually available online. Clemson undergraduate students can use these new courses as technical electives. Undergraduates at other institutions may be able take these new courses as part of their program provided the courses satisfy the degree requirements at their home institution. These certificate programs also allow industrial personnel to broaden their knowledge in renewable energy generation and/or power systems engineering. For non-Clemson students, see the following special student application process given here.
In addition to the certificate programs at the undergraduate level, the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has developed a graduate certificate program for post baccalaureate engineers seeking to understand the complex, highly dynamic phenomenon present in a modern power system. For example, a major disturbance in an electrical distribution system may cause a major blackout and loss of power over a wide area. Recent blackouts around the world led the power engineering community to develop new, innovative methods for wide area monitoring, protection and control, wireless communication, and smart grid systems. Discussions with leaders in the power industry and academia indicate that many power engineers do not have the necessary background to tackle these challenging problems related to modern power systems. To address this need, the Advanced Power Systems Engineering Certificate Program provides power engineers with an opportunity to attack more sophisticated problems associated with power systems protection, dynamics/stability, transients, and distribution.
Renewable Energy Certificate Program
The renewable energy certificate program consists of three classes in the areas of solar power, wind power, and grid penetration as described below. To enter this certificate program, one must possess a basic knowledge of DC and AC circuit theory (i.e., Kirchhoff's Laws, complex frequency, and Laplace transforms). If the applicant does not possess a basic knowledge of DC and AC circuit theory, the applicant should complete the appropriate coursework (e.g., ECE 307 – Basic Electrical Engineering or ECE 202 – Electric Circuits I and ECE 262 – Electric Circuits II). A grade of C of better is required for all courses that are part of the certificate program.
ECE 457 Fundamentals of Wind Power 3(3,0) - Introduction to wind turbine systems including wind energy potential and application to power generation. Topics include wind energy principles, wind site assessment, wind turbine components, power generation machinery, control systems, connection to the electric grid, and maintenance. Preq: ECE 307 or ECE 320 or consent of instructor. View syllabus here.
ECE 461 Fundamentals of Solar Energy 3(3,0) - Introduction to solar energy conversion systems. Topics include environmental benefits of solar energy, solar thermal systems, concentration solar power, photovoltaic (PV) cell design and manufacturing, sizing of PV system, hybrid photovoltaic/thermal systems, energy storage, and urban/rural applications. Preq: ECE 320 or consent of instructor. View syllabus here.
ECE 420 Renewable Energy Penetration on the Power Grid 3(3,0) - Introduction to the basic definitions of electrical power, interfacing primary sources, generator/load characteristics, and renewable energy resources. Topics include solar energy grid interfacing, wind energy grid interfacing, battery charging/management, harmonic distortion, voltage sags, and national standards. Preq: ECE 307 or ECE 320. View syllabus here.
Power Systems Engineering Certificate Program
The power systems engineering certificate program consists of three classes in the areas of power engineering, power systems analysis, and electric machines as described below. To enter this certificate program, one must possess a basic knowledge of DC and AC circuit theory (i.e., Kirchhoff's Laws, complex frequency, and Laplace transforms). If the applicant does not possess a basic knowledge of DC and AC circuit theory, the applicant should complete the appropriate coursework (e.g., ECE 307 – Basic Electrical Engineering or ECE 202 – Electric Circuits I and ECE 262 – Electric Circuits II). A grade of C of better is required for all courses that are part of the certificate program.
ECE 360 Electric Power Engineering 3(3,0) - Presents the basic principles of electromagnetic induction and electromagnetic forces developed. Topics include synchronous machines, power transformers, electric power transmission, and distribution systems, DC motors, and induction motors. Preq: ECE 262, PHYS 221. View syllabus here.
ECE 418 Power System Analysis 3(3,0) - Study of power system planning and operational problems. Topics include load flow, economic dispatch, fault studies, transient stability, and control of problems. System modeling and computer solutions are emphasized through class projects. Preq: ECE 360, 380. View syllabus here.
ECE 419 Electric Machines and Drives 3(3,0) - Performance, characteristics, and modeling of AC and DC machines during steady-state and transient conditions. Introduction to power electronics devices and their use in adjustable speed motor drives. Preq: ECE 321, 360, 380 Coreq: MthSC 434 or consent of instructor. View syllabus here.
Scheduled to start in August 2011:
Advanced Power Systems Engineering Certificate Program
The advanced power systems engineering certificate program consists of four of five classes in the areas of power systems protection, dynamics/stability, transients, and distribution as described below. To enter this certificate program, one must possess a working knowledge of modern power systems. If the applicant does not possess a working knowledge of power systems, the applicant should complete the appropriate coursework associated with the undergraduate level Power Systems Engineering Certificate described above.
ECE 816 Electric Power Distribution System Engineering 3(3,0) - Radial circuit analysis techniques, feeder and transformer modeling, load modeling, loss minimalization and voltage control, causes of power quality problems, motor starting analysis, strategies for analyzing impacts of disturbances. Preq: ECE 418, 419, or consent of instructor.
ECE 817 Power System Transients 3(3,0) - Electrical transients in power systems; frequency domain and time domain techniques for power systems transient analysis; capacitor switching, load switching, fault-induced transients, line reclosing, and single pole switching. Preq: Consent of instructor.
ECE 824 Power System Protection 3(3,0) - Coordination of power system protection components including microprocessor based relay-adaptive protection of power system, power system disturbance identification and system restoration following a major disturbance. Preq: ECE 418 or consent of instructor. Coreq: MTHSC 434 or consent of instructor.
ECE 862 Real Time Computer Application in Power Systems 3(3,0) - Principles of monitoring, control, and operation of power systems; load frequency control, on-line load flow, power system state estimation, unit commitment, and load forecasting. Preq: ECE 418.
ECE 863 Power System Dynamics and Stability 3(3,0) - Modeling of synchronous machines and their control systems; power system stability for small and large disturbances; excitation systems, governor control, power system stabilizers, and state variables formulation for power systems dynamic stability studies. Preq: ECE 418, 419.
For more information about the energy certificate programs, students should contact:
Professor, Undergrad Program Coordinator