University College Dublin (IRELAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN17 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 7904-7913
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0044
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Teaching electrical energy systems to non-electrical engineering students presents several didactic and methodological challenges. First, when they attend such modules, the students have only very basic knowledge of circuit theory and lack fundamental concepts of electrical machine modelling and control theory. Then, since the students are not going to specialize in electrical energy systems, they have little or null motivation to learn and understand concepts related to power systems. It is thus crucial that the matter of the module is delivered in an appealing way. Including examples where the students can see the analogy with other disciplines that are better known or interesting to them is thus crucial.

This paper describes the author's direct experience in teaching electrical energy systems modules to two different groups of non-electrical engineering students, as follows.
1. 4th stage civil engineering students at University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. The module is an option and the students deliberately choose it to complement their programme with some notions of electrical machines and power systems. The number of students is low (about ten).
2. 2nd stage module to mechanical engineering students at University College Dublin, Ireland. This is a core module that all students have to attend and is part of the required basic knowledge to obtain the degree. The number of students is high (about sixty).

The different features of the two modules and, more importantly, the diverse motivations of the students, make them relevant benchmarks to compare the proposed didactic approach.

The final paper will provide the following contributions.
1. A discussion on the key features that modules on electrical energy systems should provide to non electrical engineering students.
2. A proposal of a didactic approach aimed at making power system topics interesting to students that are not majoring in power systems, and appealing for students that can choose Electrical Energy Systems as an option module. The discussion also presents a variety of examples specific to the modules considered in the paper.
3. Relevant students’ feedback on the effects of the adopted didactic approach based on the modules taught by the author at University of Castilla-La Mancha and University College Dublin.
Electrical energy systems, electrical engineering education, computer-based laboratory.