Electrical Engineering Department
BS in Electrical Engineering
In this project, a circuit breaker that can simulate different types of power system faults is redesigned, constructed, and tested. They will then be implemented in power systems laboratory courses at Cal Poly. The project’s goal is to improve a previous circuit breaker design to help students better visualize how faults affect power systems in the real world. Two main improvements are made to the previous circuit breaker design. The first improvement is to power the breaker with a typical wall outlet adapter instead of the DC source from the Cal Poly power systems laboratory test benches. This lets the circuit breakers be used in settings other than at Cal Poly. This also reduces manufacturing costs for the circuit breaker to allow the Cal Poly EE department to afford more modules for increased student use. The adapter converts the AC wall voltage to a lower DC value than the test bench to allow for lower voltage ratings and thus lower costs of each component. The second improvement is to redesign the faceplate layout to appear more intuitive and linear by rearranging, connecting, or removing certain terminals. These changes allow students to more easily understand how current flows through the circuit breaker and makes wire setup and troubleshooting simpler. After the final circuit breaker was constructed, testing determined correct breaker functionality, and the circuit breaker can be replicated and used at reduced costs in future Cal Poly Electrical Engineering Labs.