6.061 | Spring 2011 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Electric Power Systems


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Description

This course is an introductory subject in the field of electric power systems and electrical to mechanical energy conversion. Electric power has become increasingly important as a way of transmitting and transforming energy in industrial, military and transportation uses. Examples of new uses for electric power include all manners of electric transportation systems (electric trains that run under catenary, diesel-electric railroad locomotion, ‘maglev’ medium and high speed tracked vehicles, electric transmission systems for ships and diesel-electric locomotives, replacement of hydraulics in high performance actuators, aircraft launch and recovery systems, battery powered factory material transport systems, electric and hybrid electric cars and buses, even the ‘more electric’ airplane).

Electric power systems are also at the heart of alternative energy systems, including wind and solar electric, geothermal and small scale hydroelectric generation.

The course material includes:

  • fundamentals of energy-handling electric circuits, power electronic circuits such as inverters, and electromechanical apparatus
  • modeling of magnetic field devices and description of their behavior using appropriate models
  • simplification of problems using transformation techniques
  • analysis of power electric circuits, magnetic circuits, and elements of linear and rotating electric machinery
  • use of lumped parameter electromechanics to understand power systems
  • models of synchronous, induction, and DC machinery
  • the interconnection of electric power apparatus and operation of power systems

The material in this subject will be useful to students who pursue careers or research in electric power systems, power electronic systems, vehicle electrical systems (e.g. electric or hybrid vehicles), development or use of electric motors and generators, robots and “mechatronics”.


Kirtley, James. Electric Power Principles: Sources, Conversion, Distribution and Use. Wiley, 2010. ISBN: 9780470686362.


The prerequisites for this course are 6.002 Circuits and Electronics and 6.013 Electromagnetics and Applications or permission of the instructor. Please consult with the instructor if there are any questions about preparation.

Course Expectations

6.061 is an Advanced Undergraduate Subject in the area of Optics, Electromagnetics and Energy. Each student will complete 11 problem sets and 2 quizzes.

6.690 is a graduate course, and carries H-level graduate credit. It will meet with 6.061 and will incorporate two additional elements:

  • Each student taking 6.690 will have additional problems on the problem sets. These problems can be expected to require more initiative, in-depth analysis and will generally be harder than the problems expected in 6.061.
  • Each student taking 6.690 will be asked to formulate and carry out an in-depth project in an area related to the subject. Past students have done projects on distributed generation, special purpose power systems and rebuilding the Afghanistan electric power grid. This project should be launched, fairly early in the term, after a meeting with the instructor.


In the grading schemes below, the percentages are approximate and meant as a guideline.

Grading Criteria for 6.061

Homework 50%
Quizzes (25% each) 50%

Grading Criteria for 6.690

Homework 40%
Quizzes (20% each) 40%
Term project 20%

Note that the second quiz will be given during final exam period.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2011
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets with Solutions
Exams with Solutions
Online Textbook