Master Course Description

No: EE 455


Credits: 4

UW Course Catalog Description

Coordinator: Richard D. Christie, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering

Goals: To learn the analytical techniques and vocabulary of fault analysis and transient stability, two major areas of power systems analysis. To provide an introduction to power system protection.

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

  1. Calculate fault currents in simple circuits with paper and pencil.
  2. Write computer programs that can calculate fault currents in larger systems.
  3. Solve basic relay coordination problems
  4. Employ a simple salient pole generator model in steady state and transient analysis.
  5. Solve power system stability problems using the equal area criterion.
  6. Perform time domain stability analysis on power systems.
  7. Solve dynamics problems using Park transform stability models.

Textbook: J. D. Glover, M. S. Sarma and T. J. Overbye, Power System Analysis and Design, 5th Ed. Cengage Learning 2012. (This text is also used by EE 454.)

Reference Texts: A.R. Bergen and V.J. Vittal, Power Systems Analysis, 2nd ed., Prentice-Hall, 2000.

Prerequisites by Topic:

  1. Phasor circuit theory
  2. Round rotor generator model
  3. Per phase and per-unit equivalent circuits
  4. Solution of linear differential equations by integration
  5. Solution of linear differential equations by Laplace transform


  1. Symmetrical Components and Fault Current Calculation (2 weeks, Ch. 12)
  2. Introduction to Design of Protection (2 weeks, Ch. 13)
  3. Salient Pole Machines (1 week, Ch. 6)
  4. Equal Area Stability Criteria (2 weeks, Ch. 14)
  5. Time Domain Stability (1 week, class notes)
  6. Design for Stability (1 week, class notes)
  7. Introduction to Park Transform (1 week, Ch. 7)

Course Structure: The class meets for two lectures a week, each consisting of two 50-minute sessions. There is weekly homework that includes small computer projects. Two major computer projects constitute portions of the midterm and the final. These projects include written and oral presentations.

Computer Resources: The computer projects can be done on any PC.

Laboratory Resources: None.

Grading: 33% Homework and projects, 33% weekly quizzes and 33% final exam.

Outcome Coverage:

(a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, sciences, and engineering. The vast majority of the lectures, homework and projects deal with the application of circuit theory and control theory to specific power system operating situations. Dynamic analysis using differential and integral equations is included in the stability work. Mathematical formulations are commonplace throughout the course. (M)

(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. There are two weeks of lecture on the design of protection systems (placement of protection devices and protection device settings), with associated homework and examination problems, worth about 20% of the course grade. There is one week of lecture on design for stability, covering various methods of improving power system stability, with associated homework and examination problems, worth 10% of the course grade. The midterm computer project involves creating a program to accomplish a power system fault analysis of the student's design in response to a problem specification. The final computer project is a system stability analysis using existing software in which students are required to improve the design of an existing, unstable system to achieve stability. Collectively, these projects account for about 30% of the course grade. All this design content is somewhat prescribed asking students to create computer code and to identify system parameters to meet specific objectives. These problems are not what might be termed "open-ended" challenges. (H)

(e) An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems. The homework involves solving engineering problems identified by the assignments and exemplified by class discussion. The midterm and final projects challenge the students to identify the issues and formulate their individual solutions. (H)

(g) Ability to communicate effectively. Each project requires a written report. The final project also requires an oral presentation. Project are team efforts, with each team member participating in presentations. The reports are graded for communication effectiveness and proper English usage, as well as for engineering content, and the presentation is graded for effectiveness. These grades are combined for a total grade on each project. (H)

(h) The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context. The course includes a unit on large-scale system stability which includes study of the social and economic impact of system instabilities on customers. This unit uses case studies to understand the societal dependence on large utility grids and the extent of disruption when wide-area instabilities occur. Remedial actions that may have averted these historical disruptions are reviewed. (M)

(k) An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. Students use Matlab and an associated power system toolbox to solve homework problems and to support the midterm computer project on fault analysis. The students also use a time domain stability program similar in function to commercial tools, but simple enough to learn in the course timeframe, for their computer project. (M)

Prepared By: Richard D. Christie

Last revised: October 2, 2013