Engineering Institute of Technology


Unit Name


Unit Code



Unit Duration



Bachelor of Science (Engineering)


Duration 3 years

Year Level

One or Two

Unit Creator/Reviewer






Credit Points



Total Program Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery

Online or on-campus.

Unit Workload

(Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week)

Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours Tutorial – 1.5 hours

Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours

Personal Study (recommended) - 5 hours

The objective of this unit is to familiarise students with the fundamental principles of electrical motors operating from DC and AC power supplies, their operation, control techniques, construction/components, and ratings. Additionally, the determination of the efficiency of these motors, common problems, troubleshooting methods, testing of the machines for commissioning and during operation to ascertain their performance, condition monitoring, and essential maintenance aspects, will also be covered. The emphasis will be on AC motors since these types of motors are more widely used in industry.

Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:


  1. Explain the fundamental principles behind electro-mechanical energy conversion and calculate the relation between motor rated power and torque.

  2. Describe the principle of operation of DC motors, the function of the commutator, and the different types of DC machines based on field winding connections.

  3. Explain the theory of 3-phase synchronous motors and the relation between excitation and motor power factor.

  4. Explain the fundamental theory of 3 phase and single phase induction motors, the various types of motors, and their control aspects.

  5. Discuss the construction of AC motors and the ways of enhancing motor efficiency.

  6. Describe the procedure for testing AC motors and perform these tests in a simulated environment to calculate motor parameters.

    Completing this unit may add to students professional development/competencies by:

    1. Fostering personal and professional skills and attributes in order to:

      1. Conduct work in a professionally diligent, accountable and ethical manner.

      2. Effectively use oral and written communication in personal and professional domains.

      3. Foster applicable creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

      4. Develop initiative and engagement in lifelong learning and professional development.

      5. Enhance collaboration outcomes and performance in dynamic team roles.

      6. Effectively plan, organise, self-manage and manage others.

      7. Professionally utilise and manage information.

      8. Enhance technologist literacy and apply contextualised technologist skills.

    2. Enhance investigatory and research capabilities in order to:

      1. Develop an understanding of systematic, fundamental scientific, mathematic principles, numerical analysis techniques and statistics applicable to technologists.

      2. Access, evaluate and analyse information on technologist processes, procedures, investigations and the discernment of technologist knowledge development.

      3. Foster an in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge, computer science, engineering design practice and contextual factors applicable to technologists.

      4. Solve basic and open-ended engineering technologist problems.

      5. Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds associated with sustainable engineering practice.

    3. Develop engineering application abilities in order to:

      1. Apply established engineering methods to broadly-defined technologist problem solving.

      2. Apply engineering technologist techniques, tool and resources.

      3. Apply systematic technologist synthesis and design processes.

      4. Systematically conduct and manage technologist projects, work assignments, testing and experimentation.

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.


Stage 1 Competencies and Elements of Competency


Knowledge and Skill Base


Systematic, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the technology domain.


Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the technology domain.


In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the technology domain.


Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain.


Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain.


Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the technology domain.


Engineering Application Ability


Application of established engineering methods to broadly-defined problem solving within the technology domain.


Application of engineering techniques, tools and resources within the technology domain.


Application of systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain.


Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain.


Professional and Personal Attributes


Ethical conduct and professional accountability.


Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.


Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.


Professional use and management of information.


Orderly management of self and professional conduct.


Effective team membership and team leadership.

Successfully completing this Unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes aligned to the AQF Level 7 criteria, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists and the Sydney Accord:


Graduate Attributes

(Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Professional and Personal Development)

EA Stage 1 Competencies

Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge of Science and Engineering Fundamentals

A1. Breadth of knowledge of engineering and systematic, theory-based understanding of underlying principles, and depth of knowledge across one or more engineering sub- disciplines


1.1, 1.3


1, 2, 3, 4

A2. Knowledge of mathematical, statistical and computer sciences appropriate for engineering technology




1, 6

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

A4. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain




2, 3, 5

B. Problem Solving, Critical Analysis and Judgement

B1. Ability to research, synthesise, evaluate and innovatively apply theoretical concepts, knowledge and approaches across diverse engineering technology contexts to effectively solve engineering problems


1.4, 2.1, 2.3



B2. Technical and project management skills to design complex systems and solutions in line with developments in engineering technology professional practice


2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2


C. Effective Communication

C1. Cognitive and technical skills to investigate, analyse and organise information and ideas and to communicate those ideas clearly and fluently, in both written and spoken forms appropriate to the audience




1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

C2. Ability to engage effectively and appropriately across a diverse range of cultures



D. Design and Project Management

D1. Apply systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain

2.1, 2.2, 2.3


D2. Apply systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain




E. Accountability, Professional and Ethical Conduct

E1. Innovation in applying engineering technology, having regard to ethics and impacts including economic; social; environmental and sustainability


1.6, 3.1, 3.4


E2. Professional conduct, understanding and accountability in professional practice across diverse circumstances including team work, leadership and independent work


3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6


This table details the mapping of the unit graduate attributes to the unit learning outcomes and the Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Engineering Technologist.




Graduate Attributes














Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologist

























































































































































































Unit Learning Outcomes















































































Student Assessment



Assessment Type

When Assessed



(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed


Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Basic principles of energy conversion and DC motor concepts.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve some simple equations to demonstrate a good understanding of the fundamental concepts


Week 3




1, 2


Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: AC motor theory covering synchronous and induction type motors.

Students will complete a test with about 20 questions each to be answered in less than 100 words and explanatory diagrams to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of AC motor theory, synchronous type motors, and induction type motors.


Week 6




3 and 4


Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Report

Example Topic: Simulate AC motors and perform simulated tests to calculate motor parameters and how to improve efficiency. Simulation software could be Simulink for example.


Week 11




5 and 6


Assessment 4

Type: Examination

An examination with a mix of descriptive questions and numerical problems to be completed within 3 hours.


Final Week






Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.




Prescribed and Recommended Readings


Suggested Textbooks

Umans, Steven, 2013, Fitzgerald and Kingsley's Electric Machinery, McGraw Hill Education, ISBN-13: 978-0073380469

IDC course materials on AC Motors and Protection (MP)


Reference Materials

  • Bird J, 2013, Electric Circuit Theory and Technology, Newnes (Elsevier Science), Chapters 21 and 22, ISBN 978-0415662864

  • Note: This book is the recommended text book for unit BSC202.

  • Web Links, for example:

  •, Electric Motor Testing Knowledge Base.


Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1

Electro-mechanical energy conversion principles

  1. Forces and torques in magnetic fields

  2. Energy balance

  3. Determination of magnetic field, torque, and direction of force generated

  4. Permanent magnet field systems

  5. Single and multiple-excited magnetic systems

  6. Dynamic equations and analytical principles


Topics 2 and 3

DC motors

  1. Basic concepts

  2. Force/Torque produced in a DC machine

  3. Back EMF in rotating coils in a magnetic field

  4. Commutator action

  5. Effect of armature MMF and armature reaction

  6. Need for inter-poles and compensating windings

  7. Speed/torque characteristics

  8. Shunt, series, and compound motors and their characteristics

  9. Starting of DC motors

  10. Speed control of a DC machine

  11. Armature voltage control

  12. Effect of field weakening

  13. Applications of DC motors for variable speed requirement

Topics 4 and 5

Polyphase motor theory and synchronous motors

  1. Basic concepts

  2. MMF of distributed windings

  3. Generated voltage

  4. Salient and cylindrical poles and torque development

  5. Synchronous machine inductances and equivalent circuits

  6. Open and short circuit characteristics

  7. Power angle

  8. Steady state and dynamic behaviour

  9. Direct and quadrature axis theory in salient pole machines

  10. Excitation of synchronous motors

  11. V-curves of a synchronous motors; power factor/excitation (inverse V)-curves

  12. Construction of a typical synchronous motor

  13. Damper windings

  14. Synchronous motor applications in industry

  15. Synchronous condensers in power systems


Topics 6 and 7

Induction motors

  1. Torque generation in 3-phase induction motors

  2. Current and fluxes

  3. Phasor diagram of an induction motor

  4. Equivalent circuit

  5. Leakage resistance and reactance of induction motor

  6. Analysis of the equivalent circuit

  7. Calculation of torque, stator, and rotor current

  8. Torque and power using Thevenin’s Theorem

  9. Circle diagram

  10. Starting behaviour and the role of back EMF

  11. Squirrel cage and slip ring types-comparison

  12. Single and double cage type AC motor

  13. Single phase AC motors

  14. Explanation of zero starting torque in single phase induction motors

  15. Split winding construction for developing starting torque

  16. Universal motors (based on DC series motors)


Topics 8 and 9

Control of 3 phase motors and industrial applications

  1. Torque-speed characteristics of cage and slip ring motors

  2. Induction motor vs. generator operation

  3. Selection of motor based on torque speed characteristics

  4. Matching the driven equipment torque requirements to motor capability

  5. Stable and unstable region of motor torque speed characteristics

  6. Crawling and cogging problem

  7. Impact of voltage reduction on motor torque

  8. Direct-on-line starting of a 3-phase induction motor-typical control circuit

  9. Reversible motor circuit

  10. Need for assisted starting in weak systems

  11. Star-Delta and Auto-transformer starting and their control circuits

  12. Solid state soft-starters and circuitry used

  13. Rotor resistance starting method for slip ring motors

  14. Braking of motors

  15. Electrical braking using plugging and resistance braking methods

  16. Regenerative braking using induction generator principle


Topics 10 and 11

AC motor applications, testing, efficiency calculation, and troubleshooting principles

  1. Application of induction motors of different types in industry

  2. Insulation and varnish impregnation

  3. Typical cooling and mounting configurations

  4. Motor frame sizes (IEC)

  5. Starting and duty cycles for different applications

  6. Hoisting and crane-duty applications using slip rind motor with resistance control

  7. Losses in AC induction motors and efficiency

  8. Efficiency improvement methods

  9. Tests on AC motors

  10. Open and short circuit tests

  11. Plotting the circle diagram

  12. Calculating leakage impedance parameters based on tests

  13. Load testing and efficiency calculation

  14. Back-to-back testing for large capacity motors

  15. Temperature rise tests and temperature measurement

  16. Maintenance and troubleshooting of AC motors


Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

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