Electric Power Technology

Program Description

Electric Power Technology is an instructor-led program sponsored by the Energy Providers Coalition for Education and developed for current and future electric utility workers. This program teaches students the components, design and operation of the electrical system and the equipment and safety procedures used when working with electricity. After completion of the core courses, students choose a specialization area to pursue such as line construction, metering, substation or system design. Classes begin every three to five weeks throughout the year.

Preparation

Knowledge of electricity is helpful. Prospective students should be prepared for the physical demands of entry-level technician positions. Typical industry requirements include passing a physical exam, which may entail lifting 50+ pounds, climbing ladders, and working in confined spaces or heights. Job applicants also may be required to pass a drug screen and eye exam, including the ability to distinguish between colors accurately.

Program Requirements

Students who complete the curriculum requirements receive a Program Certificate. Additional course work may lead to an Associate in Applied Science degree.

Required program entrance scores:

  • ACCUPLACER  Math – 41 (elementary algebra)
  • ACT Math – 16
  • COMPASS Math – 34 (pre-algebra)

Career Opportunities

Industry forecasts a strong job market for job applicants due to an aging workforce, industry changes and attrition. A graduate will find entry-level employment in many different areas, including maintenance, operations, line work and/or business operations.

Additional Information

Credits from this program may be applied to BSC’s Bachelor of Applied Science degree (BAS) in Energy Management, offered entirely online. The BAS is designed for individuals interested in supervisory and management positions in the energy industry. The BAS builds on the foundation laid in an AAS degree and includes general education classes, core management courses, and energy specific management courses.

BSC’s National Energy Center of Excellence was designated as the National Power Plant Operations Technology and Education Center by U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman in 2007. This official designation recognizes BSC as the premier national center of education and training for operators and technicians in the energy industry.

Contact

701-224-5651 • 800-852-5685
BSC.Energy@bismarckstate.edu

ELPW 105. Electrical System Fundamentals

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FASPSU
This course will discuss the basic electrical power grid system from the electrical generation facility to your home usage. Students will study the different types of electrical power production including: fossil fired, hydroelectric, gas turbine, combine cycle, nuclear power and renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal. The course will also cover what the future of the electrical system might look like using fuel cell and smart grid technology.

ELPW 109. Electrical Industry Safety

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FASPSU
This course covers the general safety practices and information employees need while working in any segment of the electrical industry, and the Federal Agencies responsible for insuring a safe working environment. Students will also gain an understanding of the Workers Right to Know regulations and gain an awareness of Public Safety issues.

ELPW 110. Basic Print Reading

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FASPSU
This course gives students an introduction to the different schematics used in power plant operations and electrical transmission and distribution systems. Students will gain an understanding of the standard symbols used in the various systems schematics and how to read them. Students learn how to read basic piping and instrumentation diagrams and how to interpret single line electrical diagrams. Students finish the course by studying electrical system diagrams beginning at the generator and following through to the distribution system.

ELPW 111. Introduction to Electrical Industry and Power Grid

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FASPSU
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.

ELPW 112. Electrical System Components

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FASPSU
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 200. Advanced Print Reading

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FASPSU
This course covers advanced electrical prints used 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. Students also learn to use the diagrams to troubleshoot system problems and to safely isolate sections of the electrical system.

ELPW 202. Advanced Industrial Safety

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FASPSU
This course focuses on specific safety practices used within the industry. Students begin by studying general practices, such as confined space entry, lock-out tag out procedures, fall protection, fire safety and working with hazardous materials. Students also learn some specific safety procedures used by linemen, such as proper bucket truck operation and some techniques used when working with electrical conductors. Finally, students learn some of the specific considerations that must be adhered to as an electrical system dispatcher to ensure the safety of line crews and technicians working on the electrical system.

ELPW 204. Advanced Electrical Systems

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: FASPSU
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

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: FASPSU
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.

ELPW 208. Advanced Math

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: FALLSPR
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 strigonometric functions, laws of sines and cosines, vectors and analytic geometry.

ELPW 210. Overhead Transmission and Distribution Line Construction

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: FALL
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.

ELPW 211. Substation Relays

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: SPRING
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 212. System Design Basics

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: SPRING
In this course, students study the basic principles and applications of components that comprise an electric power distribution system. It focuses on quantitative approaches to analyze systems including ideal transformers and line parameters. Customer requirements, design layout considerations, tariffs and new construction permitting requirements for overhead and underground distribution systems are studied.

ELPW 213. Fundamentals of Metering

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FALL
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 230. Underground Line Construction

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: FALL
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 231. Substation Operations

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: SPRING
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.

ELPW 232. System Design Analysis

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: SPRING
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.

ELPW 233. Single-Phase Metering and Polyphase Metering

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FALL
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 250. Transformers

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: FALL
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 251. Substation Construction and Maintenance

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: SPRING
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 252. Civil Design

Credits: 2
Typically Offered: SPRING
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 distribution cable direct burial, duct bank, manhole and vault design considerations.

ELPW 253. Advanced Metering Technology

Credits: 2
Typically Offered: FALL
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.

ENRT 103. Applied Math

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FASPSU
This course will teach basic math skills and apply them to energy industry situations. Students will learn the metric system, basic volume and area calculations as well as algebra and trigonometry and how they apply to industry specific situations.

ENRT 106. DC Fundamentals

Credits: 2
Typically Offered: FASPSU
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

Credits: 3
Typically Offered: FASPSU
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.

ENRT 122. Industrial Composition and Communication

Credits: 4
Typically Offered: FALL
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.