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This paper describes a novel Electrical Machine and Power Electronic Training Tool (EM&PETT), a methodology for using it, and associated experimental educational activities. The training tool is implemented by recreating a whole power electronics system, divided into modular blocks. This process is similar to that applied when analyzing a piece of industrial equipment by the functions of its various parts. The EM&PETT is divided into five areas: the power block, the electronic switch command, instrumentation, the control system, and the application environment. The training tool lets a user analyze each functional block and the relationships between functional blocks; it can be used either in local or remote mode, thus ensuring optimal effectiveness of the proposed learning methodology. The students can redesign the hardware and software blocks before reassembling them; this allows various different experimental projects to be run concurrently in the same training tool. The results presented here show that EM&PETT improves engineering students' technical skills and their motivation in experimental work.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2012