Course Descriptions

Students choosing to complete all courses within the Electric Power Technology program can follow the recommended sequence below or create a customized schedule based on their needs.  The NECE recommends that students consult with their academic advisor prior to registration for academic advice based on individual educational goals.

Please review the descriptions below for information on each course.

Recommended Sequence - 1st Semester
ELPW 111 Introduction to the Electrical Industry & Power Grid
ENRT 106 DC Fundamentals
ENRT 108 AC Fundamentals
ELPW 114 Industrial Safety and Health
ENRT 117 Technical Communication

Recommended Sequence - 2nd Semester
ELPW 105 Electrical System Fundamentals
ELPW 112 Electrical System Components
ELPW 120 Industrial Prints and Diagrams
ESRE 221 Applied Electronics

Recommended Sequence - 3rd Semester
ESRE 223 Automation and Control
ENRT 230 SCADA
ELPW 204 Advanced Electrical Systems
ELPW 206 Electrical System Protection

4th Semester - Choose one specialization or an equivalent of 12 credit hours
Line Construction
Metering
Substation
System Design

In addition to the courses listed above, 15 general education credits are required.

Please visit the Education Plan link for additional information.

1st Semester Courses

ELPW 111 - Introduction to the Electrical Industry & Power Grid - 3 Credits
This course will begin with a basic introduction to the systems and components that make up a basic electrical system, including generation, transmission and distribution. Students then study the history behind electrical utility industry, how the electrical system in the United States was established and how Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse influenced the development of electrical systems. They learn how the electrical industry was first regulated and how regulation of the industry has changed. Students learn how the electrical industry is currently being re-regulated to encourage competition. Students will also gain knowledge of the system operations and marketing of electricity. Finally, they study how the electrical industry is segmented into utility sectors, such as investor-owned, federally owned, publicly owned and cooperatively owned utilities.

ENRT 106 - DC Fundamentals - 2 Credits
This course covers basic direct current theory and application. Students will study methods of producing direct current voltage, including batteries, and magnetic fields. Students will learn to calculate voltage, current, resistance, and power in series, parallel, and combination DC circuits. The construction and operation of rotating DC machines including DC generators and DC motors will also be covered.

ENRT 108 - AC Fundamentals - 3 Credits
This course covers basic alternating current theories and applies those theories to electrical systems and related equipment. Students will also study basic generator and motor design, construction and operation principles.

ELPW 114 - Industrial Safety & Health - 3 Credits
This course provides standard safety, health and environmental practices performed in the electrical industry. Students study safe work practices, including personal protective equipment, chemical safety, fire protection, and tool and machine safety. Students will then learn about the electrical safety and protection. Throughout the course, personal responsibility required for safe and environmentally sound work habits will be reinforced.

ELPW 117 - Technical Communication - 3 Credits
In this course, students will learn the proper writing techniques used within the industry through practical industrial writing scenarios such as safety incident, work order request, equipment log and compliance report. In addition, students will study the appropriate interpersonal skills needed to communicate effectively with coworkers and customers including resolving on the job conflicts and establishing positive working relationships. Students will also learn what is considered acceptable behavior in the workplace and how to recognize unacceptable behaviors.

2nd Semester Courses

ELPW 105 - Electrical System Fundamentals - 3 Credits
In this course, students will learn the proper writing techniques used within the industry through practical industrial writing scenarios such as filling out work request orders, equipment logs and electrical switching orders. In addition, students will study the appropriate interpersonal skills needed to communicate effectively with co-workers and customers including resolving on-the-job conflicts and establishing positive working relationships. Students will also learn what is considered acceptable behavior in the workplace and how to recognize unacceptable behaviors.

ELPW 112 - Electrical System Components - 3 Credits
This course provides in-depth look into the components used in the transmission of electricity. Students begin with an introduction to the generation of electric power. Students will then learn how switchyards, substations, overhead transmission systems, and underground transmission systems transmit that power at the proper voltage levels and provide system protection. Components such as transformers, circuit breakers, regulators, capacitor banks, tap changers, disconnects, current and potential transformers, relays, and lightning arrestors will be examined in detail. Students will also study the various types of electrical conductors, structures, and insulators used to transmit electricity.

ELPW 120 - Industrial Prints & Diagrams- 4 Credits
This course introduces students to the different schematics used in power plant operations and electrical transmission and distribution systems. Students will gain an understanding of the standard symbols and how to read them. Students learn how to read basic piping and instrumentation diagrams, how to interpret single line electrical diagrams and how to navigate complex electrical systems and feeder maps. Students also study schematics that are used when working with electronic systems and system instrumentation that is used to control and monitor the flow of electricity through the electrical system. Throughout the course, students will learn to use the diagrams to troubleshoot system problems and safely isolate sections of the electrical system.

ESRE 221 - Applied Electronics - 3 Credits
This course focuses on the electronic components and devices that are critical in the operation of equipment common in industrial and energy facilities. Students will understand their function and how to troubleshoot them.

3rd Semester Courses

ESRE 224 - Automation & Control - 3 Credits
Students learn the control devices used to operate motors and generators in an industrial or energy environment. Some of the equipment covered: relays, contactors, motor starters, PLCs and variable frequency drives.

ENRT 230 - SCADA - 3 Credits
This course introduces the theories, design and application of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Topics include equipment, system setup, communication and security of the SCADA network.

ELPW 204 - Advanced Electrical Systems - 4 credits
This course provides students with a complete understanding of the design and operation of electrical transmission and distribution systems. Students begin by studying the basic principles of transmission and distribution circuits, including the advantages and disadvantages of AC and DC transmission. Students will also learn some of the procedures used by system operators and line crews to maintain the safe and effective delivery of power during adverse conditions and the steps necessary to restore power after outages. An introduction to distribution system automation is also provided.

ELPW 206 - Electrical System Protection - 4 credits
This course covers philosophies and principles used to protect the electrical system from abnormal and fault conditions, beginning with the generator. Instrument transformers, protective relays, and system grounding principles are covered.

4th Semester Courses - Choose one specialization area or 12 total credits from the areas below.

Courses required for specialization in Line Construction
Classes offered in the Fall semesters

ELPW 250 - Transformers - 4 Credits
This course begins by reviewing basic transformer design and operation. The course also covers 3-phase transformers, single-phase loads for 3-phase transformers, and the connections used in such transformers. The course introduces students to installation procedures and maintenance procedures.

ELPW 230 - Underground Line Construction - 4 Credits
This course covers the two basic categories of underground line construction, such as direct burial and those found in vaults and ducts. Students learn the design, conductors and the transformers used in residential direct burial and the factors that affect it. The course includes underground line construction design and the factors that affect this type of installation.

ELPW 210 - Overhead Transmission & Distribution Line Construction - 4 Credits
This course covers the design and construction of transmission and distribution overhead lines. This includes structures, conductors, insulators and the factors that influence particular use for both transmission and distribution systems. The course covers guidelines for working safely with poles, conductors, switchgear, transformers, rigging, grounds and more. Students will be introduced to high and low voltage troubleshooting procedures, stringing procedures and guidelines for live line work. Maintaining good voltage to the customer and street lighting issues also will be discussed.

Courses required for specialization in Substation

Classes offered in the Spring semesters

ELPW 251 - Substation Construction & Maintenance - 4 Credits
This course begins with a review of hand and power tools used during the construction and maintenance of substations and continues with safety procedures and equipment put in place to protect workers within a substation. Students learn the basic construction of a substation, including electrical equipment rigging and installation, cable tray and conduit installation, cable controls and panel wiring, as well as a wide variety of installation procedures for electrical components and protection equipment.

ELPW 211 - Substation Relays - 4 Credits
This course focuses on testing and calibrating substation equipment, including voltage testing on equipment feeder relays, and circuit breaker relays. Students also learn the various tests that need to be conducted on protective relays, such as overcurrent and voltage relays, directional and line relays, as well as ground and test device testing.

ELPW 231 - Substation Operations - 4 Credits
This course will detail the specifics of power electronics as applied in substations for power transmission. It will describe typical functions provided in utility substation automation systems and some important considerations in the interface between substation equipment and the automation system components. Students will look at the availability of information, the analysis of this information, and the subsequent decision making to optimize system operation in a competitive environment. Oil containment, animal issues and security will also be discussed and the requirements necessary to qualify a substation to withstand seismic events. The operation of substation fire protection and substation communications systems such as the SCADA system and SCADA security will be examined system design specialization.

Courses required for specialization in System Design *

Classes offered in the Spring semesters

* Students need the ability to apply geometry, trigonometry, and algebra throughout the courses in this specialization.

ELPW 208 - Advanced Math - 4 Credits
This course covers algebra, geometry and trigonometry needed for energy technicians working in the electrical system design and metering specialization areas. The course covers the fundamental concepts of algebra, equations, functions and graphs. The course also covers trigonometric functions, laws of sines and cosines, vectors and analytic geometry.

ELPW 240 - Civil Design - 4 Credits
In this course students study the basic principles of civil design in electrical distribution system facilities. It includes site selection and surveying, soils testing and compaction, grounding, grading, drainage and oil catchment requirements, step potential protection, design layouts, line plan and profile development, foundations, trenching and raceway design, and underground design considerations. Customer requirements, design layout considerations, and new construction permitting requirements are studied.

ELPW 252 - System Design Analysis - 3 Credits
In this course students study the process calculations involved with distribution system design. Included is a brief review of fundamental principles and relationships, followed by exercises using phasors in complex coordinate planes, power transformer equivalent circuits, per unit notation, transmission line parameters and steady state operation, symmetrical faults and symmetrical components, unsymmetrical faults and system protection. The course winds up with an overview of system protection principles and settings calculations for various types of protective relays.

Courses required for specialization in Metering *

Classes offered in the Fall semesters

* Students need the ability to apply geometry, trigonometry, and algebra throughout the courses in this specialization track.

ELPW 208 - Advanced Math - 4 Credits
This course covers algebra, geometry and trigonometry needed for energy technicians working in the electrical system design and metering specialization areas. The course covers the fundamental concepts of algebra, equations, functions and graphs. The course also covers trigonometric functions, laws of sines and cosines, vectors and analytic geometry.

ELPW 213 - Fundamentals of Metering - 3 Credits
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of metering, such as terminology and basic principles of meters. Students learn basic math needed in metering, and review basic electricity and magnetism principles. They are introduced to meter testing equipment, meter diagrams and standards, and learn technical data and how to read watt hour and demand meters.

ELPW 233 - Single-Phase & Polyphase Metering - 3 Credits
In this course students learn about single-phase metering and polyphase metering, including meter design, adjustments and compensations, and applications. They also learn about power factor analyzers, high amperage CT cabinets, meter demand theory, demand registers, and testing and maintenance of thermal demands.

ELPW 253 - Advanced Metering Technology - 2 Credits
This course introduces students to various metering system designs and application options. The students study the metering system components, associated wiring configurations and instrument transformer variations. Topics include ratio, burden, and correction factor calculations; functional testing, and calibration procedures as well as safe installation procedures. Also included are cogeneration metering, and principles of load management and associated equipment.