Introduction to Electrical Engineering

Introduction to Electrical Engineering

March 12, 2018

Electrical Engineering is very vast discipline of study that includes study of electronics digital computers, power system, control system, computer engineering, signal processing, instrumentation, machines and microelectronics. These sub discipline form a number of specialized course such as power system engineering, renewable energies, hardware engineering, electromagnetism and waves, electrochemistry, electrical material science and many others. This field became recognizable after commercialization of electric power generation and distribution, invention and use of telegraph and telephone in the later half of century.

Achievement of Michael Faraday (1791-1867) in the discovery of electromagnetic induction (1831) that explained conversion of magnetic energy to electrical energy and vice versa is considered the fundamental development that led Electrical Engineering to this height to this date. Similarly James Clerk Maxwell published a unified theory of electricity and magnetism (1873) in his writing Electricity and Magnetism. Although it is difficult to predict the first electrical engineer, Francis Ronalds who developed first electric telegraph in 1816  and documented his vision about electricity is considered as the first by Insttution of Electrical Engineers.

The main achievement in the field of Electrical Engineering with achievers name is listed below:

Thomans Edision (1882)                  Electric light and (DC power  networks

Sir Charles Parsons(1884)               Steam turbines

Nikola Tesla (1887)                           Practical polyphase  and induction motor

William Stanley, Jr. (1880-1890)    Transformers

Karl Ferdinand Braun (1897)         Cathode ray tube

Karoly Zipernowsky,                        ZBD transformer

John Fleming (1904)                         Radio tube, Diode

Galileo Ferraris                                  Electrical theory, induction motor

Mikhail Dolivo-dobrovolsky          Standard 3-phase (AC) systems

Charles proteus Steinmetz             AC mathematical theories for engineers

Oliver Heaviside                              Theoretical models for electric circuits

P. Eckert, John mauchly (1946)     ENIACE

William B. Shockley  (1947)          Transistor                            

The main disciplines of Electrical Engineering can be summarized as below:

Power engineering

This field deals with the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy from source to consumers. The system is becoming more reliable and efficient due to interconnected system. Due to increase in power flow capacity of Transmission line, fault level of system is also increasing and system has become more complex so electrical engineers are involved in generation transmission and distribution of electrical power efficiently solving these issues.

The transmission line voltage has reached to almost 1100 kV(more Voltage level  transmission line are under study) due to requirement of high power flow. With the increase of voltage level capacity of Power flow increases however Ferranti effect (receiving end voltage greater than sending end voltage) too becomes prominent, tower height and conductor size also need to increased and finally fault MVA increases which adds complexity in the design and system handling.

In the beginning generator size and capacity were small but now in Three Gorges, China there are 32 main generators each producing 700 MW and two small generator of 50 MW to electrify itself. So the complexity of generation system is also increasing and this is to be addressed by engineers.

Control Engineering

It focus on modeling of dynamic system and design of controllers to control the mechanized process in desired manner. To implement such controllers, electrical engineers may use electronic circuits, digital signal processors, microcontrollers(PLCs). Control engineering has a wide range of applications from the fight and propulsion system of commercial airlines to cruise control present in many modern automobiles. It also plays an important role in industrial mechanization.

Electronics Engineering

It can be also called as hardware engineering which deals with the development of electronic goods and gadgets like modern television, audio systems, computers,  and microprocessors, mobiles and many others. It deals with the  design and testing of electronic circuits that use the properties of component as resistors, capactors, inductors, diode and transistors.