Electric Power Technology

Certificate and AAS in Electric Power Technology

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Overview

The courses in EPCE and Bismarck State College’s online Electric Power Technology (ELPW) program are:

  • Flexible to accommodate personal and professional schedules.
  • Offered every 3-5 weeks on a rotating schedule with the ability to enroll at any time.

The technical courses in this online program can count towards an Associate’s of Applied Science Degree or Certificate in Electric Power Technology. Courses can also be taken individually for professional development or training.

Course Information

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
ENRT 221 Applied Electronics

Recommended Sequence – 3rd Semester
ENRT 224 Automation and Control
ENRT 230 Power System 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

LINE CONSTRUCTION SPECIALIZATION

  • ELPW 250 Transformers
  • ELPW 230 Underground Line Construction
  • ELPW 210 Overhead Transmission and Distribution Line Construction

SUBSTATION SPECIALIZATION

  • ELPW 251 Substation Construction and Maintenance
  • ELPW 211 Substation Relays
  • ELPW 231 Substation Operations

SYSTEM DESIGN SPECIALIZATION

  • ELPW 208 Advanced Math
  • ELPW 240 Electric Distribution Systems
  • ELPW 252 Civil Design

METERING SPECIALIZATION

  • ELPW 208 Advanced Math
  • ELPW 213 Fundamentals of Metering
  • ELPW 233 Single-Phase Metering and Polyphase Metering
  • ELPW 253 Advanced Metering Technology

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.

ENRT 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
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 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.

ENRT 221 – Applied Electronics – 3 Credits
This course focuses on the electronic components and devices that are critical in the operation of energy, manufacturing and other industrial facilities. Students will understand the function of a variety of devices and how to troubleshoot them.

3rd Semester Courses

ENRT 224 – Automation & Control – 3 Credits
This course includes an in depth study of discrete motor control devices and the assembly and programming of PLC discrete input and output modules. The application of these devices in energy and industrial environments is included. Understanding of real world control systems and student constructed systems is part of this course. Some of the equipment covered is switches, relays, contactors, motor starters, control transformers, discrete input devices, electronic input devices, and PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers).

ENRT 230 – Power System SCADA – 3 Credits
This course introduces the theories, design and application of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Topics include equipment, system configuration, 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 – Electric Distribution Systems – 4 Credits
In this course, students will be introduced to the basic components and operations of electric utility distribution substations and circuit feeders. Their functions, typical design parameters and the coordination of their protective devices are presented to form a complete picture of the working systems they comprise. Topics include transformers, bus configurations, regulators, capacitors, circuit breakers, reclosers, relays, fusing, arresters, reliability, power quality and the economics.

ELPW 252 – 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.

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.

AAS DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The Electric Power Technology Associate of Applied Science degree requires 68 credit hours.

  • Technical program: 53 credit hours
  • General education: 15 credit hours

CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS

The Electric Power Technology Certificate requires 57 credit hours.

  • Technical program: 53 credit hours
  • General Education: 4 credit hours

Testimonials

 

 

 

 

BSC , Electric Power Technology Program

“A lot of the professors at BSC aren’t just professors –they actually work in the industry in the field so they have the knowledge to really help you understand the material.”

Michelle Opon, Field Engineer Administrative Assistant Chicopee Electric Light (APPA Member)
Alicia Udhe, BSC Polytechnic Program Outreach Director

Frequently Asked Questions

Bismarck State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Visit the accreditation page for more details.

All courses are delivered asynchronous and offered 24/7.

The majority of courses are 3-5 weeks long.

Plan to spend approximately 15-20 hours a week working on a course.

You can start anytime during the year.

You choose your education journey. You can take an individual course, a certificate program or pursue a degree. If you are degree seeking, official transcripts will be required and placement tests may need to be completed. 

Visit the tuition page here. If you/your company is not an EPCE member, learn more about becoming an EPCE member company and or individual member.

Yes, you can receive college credit for a variety of approved previous learning accomplishments. Explore your options with the BSC advisor. 

Contact your Human Resources department to see if courses/programs qualify.  

To get started, you will need to complete the application process . The admissions process typically takes 1 – 3 weeks.

Ask a BSC Advisor

Have questions about earning your certificate?
Get in touch with Bismarck State’s program advisor.

Melinda Landis
Advisor, NECE
701-224-5693
[email protected]

Ask an Advisor
Tuition Info
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