Electrical Engineering 137A — Introduction to Electric Power Systems (4 Units)

Course Overview


This class serves as an introduction to power engineering, covering the fundamental operations of the "legacy" grid. Analysis mainly focuses on transmission systems. The class builds up knowledge of power system equipment, such as transmission lines, transformers, capacitor banks, and synchronous generators. Some homeworks in class use Power World to run power flow simulations for sample networks.


  • EE16B
  • Physics 7B (recommended)

Topics Covered

  • Complex power and phasor analysis
  • 3 phase power
  • Power quality
  • Transformer modeling
  • Transmission Line parameter analysis
  • Power flow analysis
  • Rotating machines and synchronous generators
  • Power system control and stability
  • Frequency control
  • Economic dispatch


Course Work

  • Weekly problem sets and quizzes
  • 1 midterm

Time Commitment

3 hours of lecture, 1 hour of discussion, 3-5 hours on weekly problem sets, but exams (Midterm and Final) can be challenging.

Choosing the Course

When to take

Junior year. Note: this class is only offered in the Fall.

What's next?


Usefulness for Research or Internships

For research in power systems and smart grid technology. Very useful for internships and utilities such as PG&E or CAISO. This class is a must-take before EE 137B, which goes more into renewable energy systems and emerging technologies in power systems.

Additional Comments/Tips

Last updated: Summer 2020