­University of Utah

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

ECE 5671/6671                      Electric Generators                               Fall 2023


This syllabus is intended to serve as an outline and guide for the course. Adjustments may be made with reasonable notice communicated to students through announcements on Canvas.

Instructor:                   Professor Marc Bodson

Office:                         MEB 3230

Contact:                      messaging on Canvas or email to marc.bodson@utah.edu

Course web pages:      Canvas and http://www.ece.utah.edu/~bodson/generators/


1.   Introduction

Traditionally, electric power has been produced using large synchronous generators operating at constant speed and using fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Recent developments in power electronics have made it possible to generate electric power at varying speeds, extracting energy from sources such as wind or braking energy in electric vehicles. A wider range of electric generators is now in use, including doubly-fed induction generators and permanent magnet AC generators. The course covers the principles of operation of electric generators found in modern applications, without neglecting the traditional generators used in most power plants. Methods used to control the generators are also discussed.

2.   Course objectives

The main objective of the course is to give a fundamental engineering knowledge of various types of electric generators. As part of this objective, students will refine their understanding of three-phase AC power. A secondary but significant goal of the course is to provide students an opportunity to develop skills in modeling and simulation of physical systems using modern software (specifically MATLAB/SIMULINK).

3.   Course contents

Introduction to electric generators. Energy conversion, torque and power. Sources of mechanical energy.

DC generators (DCG). Dynamic model of a DC machine. Parallel operation and load sharing. Self-excited DC generators.

AC power. Single-phase and two-phase power. Three-phase power and power transmission over three wires. Per unit values. Theory of symmetrical components. Three-phase to two-phase transformations. 

Permanent magnet synchronous generators (PMSG). Dynamic model of a PMSG.  Steady-state operation at constant speed. Droop curves and nose curves. Parallel operation. DC power generation with rectifier.

Squirrel-cage induction generators (SCIG). Dynamic model of a SCIG. Active and reactive power. Power factor correction. Grid-tied operation. Self-excited induction generators.

Wound-field synchronous generators (WFSG). Applications of WFSGs. Characteristic curves. Operating limits. Active power control and parallel operation. Reactive power control

Bi-directional DC/AC converters. DC/AC converter. DQ transformation, DQ model, and DQ control of a grid-tied inverter. Control of DC bus voltage.

Doubly-fed induction generators (DFIG). Wind power generation using DFIGs. Dynamic model of a DFIG. Power and converter properties. Control of doubly-fed induction generators.

4.   Prerequisites

A basic course on control system design (ECE 3510, ME EN 5200/6200, CH EN 4203, or equivalent) is required, and may be taken concurrently. An introductory class in power engineering (ECE 3600) is also recommended but is not required.

5.  Textbook

An abridged version of the textbook Electric Generators written by the instructor is available for download on Canvas, with the condition that students keep the file for their personal use and do not make it available to anyone else. The pdf file is named textbook.pdf and is placed under the Files section.

6.  Software

Students should download and install the software MATLAB/SIMULINK on their personal computers. A free license is available at https://software.utah.edu/mathworks.php/. Alternatively, students may access the computers in the Analog Lab of the ECE Teaching Labs (MEB 2365). Users need to have a Windows account of the CADE Lab, which is a computer lab operated by the College of Engineering. Accounts can be created and managed on the web page:  


7.  Regular and on-line sections

Students enrolled in the regular section (001) are expected to attend the lectures. The online section (090) does not require attendance. The work assigned to the online students is the same as for the regular section and must be submitted at the same due dates (specified in the assignments on Canvas). A tentative schedule is available under the Files section on Canvas, with the name schedule.pdf.

8.  Course content

The course content is divided into approximately 25 lectures, plus a first lecture introducing the class. The last two lectures of the semester are cancelled to give students extra time for their final project. For online students, the material consists of:

Practical information will be presented in some videos that is not included in the textbook but illustrates its concepts. Previews of the results of the labs will also be given in videos uploaded on the class web page.

In-person lectures will be longer than the video recordings, giving students opportunities to ask questions. Participation is strongly encouraged.  Students may also use remaining class time to ask for help with simulations. Readings from the textbook are also recommended to complement the lectures.

9.  Grading

Grades will be based on homeworks, software labs, a project (as described in the document project.pdf found under the Files section of Canvas), and class participation assignments. The homeworks and labs will count together for 70% of the grade (with individual weights determined by total points), the project for 25%, and class participation for 5%.

The closing date for assignments will generally be set to 3 days after the due date. Submission is possible between the due date and the closing date with no penalty. After the closing date, work can only be submitted by contacting the instructor and will only be permitted in limited circumstances.

10.  Office hours

The instructor will be available for questions during lectures as well as through email, Canvas messages and Canvas discussions. A weekly online meeting on Zoom will be scheduled for online students to ask questions about the course material and assignments. All students are encouraged to arrange separate on-line meetings, either individually or in groups. Online meetings will not be recorded.

11.  College guidelines

Please check: https://www.coe.utah.edu/semester-guidelines.

12.  University policies

1.       The Americans with Disabilities Act. The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in this class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability & Access, 162 Olpin Union Building, (801) 581-5020. CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations. All written information in this course can be made available in an alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability & Access.

2.       University Safety Statement. The University of Utah values the safety of all campus community members. To report suspicious activity or to request a courtesy escort, call campus police at 801-585-COPS (801-585-2677). You will receive important emergency alerts and safety messages regarding campus safety via text message. For more information regarding safety and to view available training resources, including helpful videos, visit http://safeu.utah.edu.

3.       Addressing Sexual Misconduct. Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender (which Includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression) is a civil rights offense subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, color, religion, age, status as a person with a disability, veteran’s status or genetic information.  If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you are encouraged to report it to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 135 Park Building, 801-581-8365, or the Office of the Dean of Students, 270 Union Building, 801-581-7066.  For support and confidential consultation, contact the Center for Student Wellness, 426 SSB, 801-581-7776. To report to the police, contact the Department of Public Safety, 801-585-2677(COPS).

4.       Academic Misconduct Statement. It is expected that students adhere to University of Utah policies regarding academic honesty, including but not limited to refraining from cheating, plagiarizing, misrepresenting one's work, and/or inappropriately collaborating. This includes the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools without citation, documentation, or authorization. Students are expected to adhere to the prescribed professional and ethical standards of the profession/discipline for which they are preparing. Any student who engages in academic dishonesty or who violates the professional and ethical standards for their profession/discipline may be subject to academic sanctions as per the University of Utah’s Student Code: https://regulations.utah.edu/academics/6-410.php.

5.       Other important information:

a.       Student code: http://regulations.utah.edu/academics/6-400.php

b.       Accommodation policy (see Section Q): http://regulations.utah.edu/academics/6-100.php

c.       Financial resources web page for ECE students: