Senior Design I 

EE 4103

Electrical Engineering Senior Design I


Project Specifications

Electrical Utility Network


Design a utility system that will be connected to a network of other utilities. It must respond to changes in operating conditions without failing. This is an effective model of the utility grid for North America. It will simulate the circumstances around the blackout of 2003.


The plant will consist of a generator, monitors, controls, indicators. The input for your board will be a 12 VDC battery with limited current abilities to be specified later. Built a generator for the system that will operate at 24 VAC, 60 Hz. The maximum output must be limited to 1 Amp. The generator may be electronic or electromechanical.  


Place a relay to isolate your generator from the network. When you connect to the network, you must synchronize to the line. The zero crossing and phase must match the network before you close the relay. If you are isolated from the network, or are the first to go on-line, your system must provide the 60 Hz frequency.


The independent system operator (ISO), otherwise known as TUEE Professors, will place various loads on the network. Your utility must respond without failing or damage.


The loads will be

1.  an open circuit

2.  a short circuit

3.  full load - 1 Amp

4.  half load

5.  non-linear load (half wave rectifier)


Acceptable responses are control on your generator or opening the relay, if the load is out of range of control. You must remain connected to the network and supplying power at all other times. Obviously, with a dynamic system, at times power may be flowing backward to your generator. Take appropriate actions.


Place a 1.25  Amp fuse on the line. If it blows, you are out of the game.


Place a switch that will start the system. Install an emergency shutdown switch that will take the system off the network immediately, but will permit your generator to continue to supply the load. 


Add 3 indicators to show the condition of your generator.

1.  operating at line frequency

2.  operating at rated voltage

3.  connected to the network


Connections to the network will be via banana plugs. The plugs will be in pairs of power and common. The common and power must be uniquely identified. The power must have black and the common must have white associated with the connector. The space between the power and common for each pair must be spaced precisely 0.75" apart for the adapter to fit. There will be 3 sets of connectors.

1.  input from network

2.  connection for loads

3.  output to network.


The common line will connect to all connector white terminals, the common of the generator, and the negative of the capacitor. The input will connect to inductor 1. The other side of inductor 1 will connect to inductor 2 and the generator output power. The output of inductor 2 will connect to the load plug and to the capacitor positive.  The load plug will also connect in parallel to the network plug. Keep in mind that the network is a loop feed. Therefore, changing and erratic conditions can occur on the input as well as the load side.


                          In   L1   Gen  L2  C1 Load Net



Observe that the network is a "T network" model of a transmission line. Therefore, there will be a delay in response. In addition, there can be ringing (spurious oscillations). These will impact your system response. The size of the inductors and capacitors will be specified.


Each system must be packaged in an enclosure that will be dropped.  The final design may be implemented with a solder, wire-wrap, or a printed circuit board. Leave no connections that can be touched, other than the 3 sets of banana plugs. Be careful about a final package until after full testing on a similar board, because of the impact of layout on the packaging.


You may add any other features you want.  This may make your device more desirable to the client.  There will be a trade show at the end of the semester where your team will "sell" its engineering design to a utility, government, or industrial customer..


Your design must come in under an actual cash expenditure budget of $50.  Another page addresses how the competitive pricing will work for the trade show.


The specifications may be modified later to see if you can incorporate changes in customer requirements. 


Specification Customer Requirements


Add the following requirements.




Job Market Change


There has been a change in the job market.  One of the team members is required to leave for service elsewhere.  This can be voluntarily or involuntary. 


Because of the limited labor pool, your team is required to hire one of the people that left another team. The date of the change will be given later




1996-2008 Dr. Marcus O. Durham All rights reserved.  Please contact us with your requests.