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

Course Overview


This course shifts focus from large scale transmission networks towards the analysis of distribution networks. The class covers a wide array of renewable energy generation technologies, including concentrated solar, photovoltaics, and wind energy. It also covers various energy storage technologies such as batteries and flywheels. After taking this course one understands the challenges and advantages of integrating renewable resources into the legacy grid.


  • EE137A or equivalent knowledge of power systems

Topics Covered

  • Distribution system operation
  • Voltage regulation
  • Protection
  • Load modeling
  • High Voltage DC lines
  • Interfacing renewable energy with legacy grid (power converters)
  • PV cells and modules, and the manufacture of such devices
  • PV system design, shading
  • Solar resource
  • Solar thermal power / Concentrated solar
  • Wind power
  • Energy storage (batteries, flywheels, etc.)
  • Demand response, duck curves
  • Sensing and monitoring distribution systems
  • State estimation and distribution automation
  • Interconnection of Distributed Energy Resource / microgrids


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

After EE137A, junior year. Note: this course is only offered in the spring

What's next?

If interested in smart grid control and automation, graduate level controls classes. If interested in the hardware that interfaces renewable generation with the grid, EE113.

Usefulness for Research or Internships

Similarly to EE137A, for research in power systems and smart grid technology. Very useful for internships and utilities such as PG&E or CAISO

Additional Comments/Tips

Last Updated: Summer 2020