EPCE, the Energy Providers Coalition for Education, and its founding education partner, Bismarck State College (BSC) National Energy Center for Excellence have announced a powerful new, upgrade to the power system laboratory developed to provide real-world experiences for online students. The WebLab Power Grid Laboratory (PGL) is integrated into BSC’s online Electric Power Technology curriculum, which is designed for current and future electric utility workers.
The WebLab PGL platform contains two hydroelectric generators, a transmission system and a distribution system with electrical loads. Students learn the distinct steps required to run a power system by using WebLab, which also includes lessons targeted towards specific topics related to the course objectives. Each lesson poses objectives and lectures to explain the requirements in addition to required exercises, assignments, and/or quizzes.
“The addition of these interactive online learning tools not only enhances the energy curriculum, but engages energy professionals in their education and training, says Tyler White, Manager, Utility Operations Training & Procedures, Pepco Holdings, an Exelon Company and the chair of the EPCE/BSC Electric Power Technology Curriculum Committee. “The introduction of these online tools allows individuals to remotely control laboratory equipment and experience hands-on training with both a transmission and distribution systems.”
The WebLab PGL project began in 2003 with the development of a live miniature power system showing generation, transmission, and the power distribution in a mock city. When it was launched in April 2006, students could log in online and go through a procedure to start up the hydroelectric powerhouses. The WebLab live system is housed on the second floor of the National Energy Center of Excellence. However, since there is only one laboratory, only one student could be logged into the system at a time, requiring students to schedule blocks of time for lab exercises, and work within a set timeframe.