List of Standard Courses

Pterra offers a a set of standard short courses. These courses have been developed and prepared for presentation at Pterra’s Training Facility or at client sites. The material is focused on a general audience with a minimum one year experience in the power industry. These courses are available for implementation at client sites, or can be modified to suit specific training needs.

Intro to Python Programming

Pterra’s next offering in power system training is coming March 25-27, 2014 on the topic “Introduction to Python Programming.”  We are holding the course in sunny (hopefully) and warm (relative to the rest of the country) Tampa, FL and our instructors, who’ve been preparing for most of the winter, are raring to get started.

Python is an open-source, platform-portable programming language that is used as a command and scripting language by some of the more popular software used for electric power system analysis.  Hence, the benefit of taking this course is in learning the basics of the language itself, and how to apply it to utilize analytical software more effectively and efficiently.

In this two-and-a-half day course, we will cover:

  • Python Variable and Data Structures
  • Tuples and Lists
  • Python rules and programming styles
  • Iteration and Flow Control
  • Python String and Formats
  • Modules, Methods and Classes
  • Python Input and Output\
  • Python interface – using user specific programs
  • Accessing data
  • Data Retrieval and Changing
  • Recording GUI actions and modification with Python
  • Customized Text Input / Output
  • Python – Communication with MS Excel for reporting
  • Adding activities using Python

As with all other Pterra courses, the focus is on practical applications to real world power system problems, hence, up to half of the course time is allocated to guided hands-on exercises in direct interaction with the course instructors.

Pterra is proud to offer this new course to power system engineers.  Limited seats are still available.  For information, contact

Linear Power Flow Analysis and Applications

In the accelerated environments of today’s electric energy markets, fast analyses of power flows are a must. Emerging real-time and day-ahead markets require that analysis of infrastructure capacity be performed in a compressed timeframe. In this context, approximate but fast and consistent power flow solutions are preferred over accurate but unwieldy ones. Hence, the increasing popularity of linear approximations to the power flow. The reason for widespread use may have to do with the fact that linear methods are much easier to apply, are not subject to convergence issues, and require less data.

In this introductory course, learn about the technology of linear power flows and apply them to real-world practical problems. Use this technology in applications such as anticipatory analysis of pricing and demand signals, transactional analysis of power interchange and delivery, transmission loading relief and feasibility analysis. In addition, learn about the limitations to these methods and the pitfalls to watch out for when applying these methods. Come away with a working knowledge of the technology of linear power flows.

C01: Power Flow Analysis and Applications

The power flow is a basic tool of power system analysis that is required knowledge for anyone who wants to work in this field. In this introductory course, review the basic principles of power flows with emphasis on applications to practical steady-state analysis. Learn how to model various types of power system equipment, and how the modeling of such equipment influence power flow solution performance and results. Learn about various methods for solving the power flow, the intrinsic characteristics and when to apply them, especially in ill-conditioned cases. Then, apply the power flow to typical power system problems, including contingency analysis, voltage control and reactive power analysis, and transfer analysis. Fill in your knowledge base of practical power flow analysis techniques and applications in a short course that is suited to today’s needs.

CO2: Dynamic Simulation Analysis and Applications

Power system stability is an essential aspect of modern power systems. The assessment of stability, both transient and voltage, requires a detailed representation of control response from power system equipment in the millisec to minutes timeframe. The time-domain dynamic simulation is the basic tool for stability assessment. We will introduce the basic concepts of stability and dynamic simulation and illustrate them through hands-on case studies. We will use commercial software for instruction and provide coaching for the software you actually use at work. Come away with a stronger understanding of stability and the use and application of dynamic simulators.

CO3: Developing User Models for Dynamic Simulation

From time to time it is necessary to develop user models for equipment which do not have representation in commercial software packages for stability assessments. Emerging technologies and new equipment are typical bases for user models. This course introduces the basis for dynamic models, the range of responses they are intended to simulate, and then goes right into the mechanics of developing your own dynamic model.

Learn about power system controls and how these can be translated into special user models that work with today’s commercial simulation software. Be able to write your own models, debug other’s models and modify an existing model to suite your analytical needs. This is an advanced applications course. It is recommended that participants have prior experience with dynamic simulations and software programming to gain the most benefit from attending this course.

CO4: HVDC Transmission Analysis and Applications

High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Transmission is seeing a resurgence in applications and studies for electric power grids. In this introductory course, review the basic principles of HVDC conversion technology, transmission design and characteristics with emphasis on applications to practical analysis. Learn how to model HVDC from existing and conceptual designs for use in steady-state and dynamic simulations of interconnected networks. Apply HVDC models to practical power system applications and evaluate their impact on key aspects such as contingency analysis, dynamic stability and voltage control.

CO5: Applications in Voltage Stability

The industry, by experience and research, now understands more about voltage stability than it did just a few short years ago. Phenomena such as slow and fast collapse, the voltage ledge, self-restoring loads and composite load-voltage relationships have become a part of the practical operating experience rather than abstruse theoretical concepts. The course brings you to the actual indicators, analytical methods and operating bases for voltage instability, still based on sound theory, but focused on models, measurements and controls that are rooted in the practical power system. Speak and apply voltage stability with a new confidence with knowledge you bring to work from this course.

CO6: Applications in Wind Power Interconnection

Wind power is an emerging resource in electric power systems. However, harnessing this energy and interconnecting into existing transmission grids entails major challenges. This course provides an introductory coverage of the basics of steady-state, short circuit and stability assessment of wind farm interconnection, individually and in conjunction with other wind farms. The discussions cover the various technology for converting wind energy to electric power, the electrical characteristics of each and the impacts on existing grids. Hands-on exercise allow participants to conduct detailed assessments of power flow and stability simulations for a sample wind farm and grid. For any planner, operator, designer or market participant, wind farms represent an important new technology and challenge. This course will help you get a step ahead in understanding the interconnection requirements for and potential impacts of wind farms.

CO7: Distributed Generation Analysis and Applications Course

Distributed generation has become a viable option and is gaining wider acceptance to utilities, customers, and independent power producers. While DG offers many advantages, the utility typically requires system impact study for interconnecting DG to the existing electric grid to ensure it would not adversely impact the operation, reliability and safety of the grid. This course covers the technical aspects of DG integration from the viewpoint of both independent power producer and utility. Specific topics include: islanding, steady state power flow, voltage regulation, short-circuit, protective relaying, power quality (flicker and harmonic), power factor, system stability, grounding, and ground fault overvoltage.