Engineering Institute of Technology


Unit Name


Unit Code



Unit Duration



Bachelor of Science (Engineering)


Duration 3 years

Year Level


Unit Coordinator






Credit Points



Total Program Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery

Online or on-campus.

Delivery/ Contact Hours per week

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

Lecture – 1.5 hour Tutorial – 1.5 hours

Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours

Guided Personal Study (recommended) - 5 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective of this unit is to provide students with a detailed knowledge of the building blocks of a power system in terms of transformers and switchgear. Information covered in this unit will include: the theory of transformers and switchgear; their design and construction features; and, their operation, maintenance, and testing. On completion of this unit, students will be able to: specify the appropriate equipment to use for a given application; plan an installation; explain the commissioning and maintenance requirements of the equipment; and, troubleshoot any problems that may occur. Students will also undertake a project involving transformers and switchgear specification, selection, and operation, contextualised to their country/state.

Learning Outcomes

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


  1. Explain the basic principles of transformers including the phasor diagram and equivalent circuit.

  2. Identify the most appropriate type of transformer for a given application and determine its ratings and design features.

  3. Create a plan for scheduled inspection and predictive tests required for the trouble- free operation of a power transformer of a network substation, whilst keeping environment and sustainability aspects in mind.

  4. Describe the principle of current interruption by a circuit breaker.

  5. Select the appropriate type of switchgear for an industrial power facility and determine the specifications for the selected switchgear.

  6. Plan the facilities required for a substation installation (including one or more transformers and MV switchgear), whilst keeping environment and sustainability aspects in mind.

    Professional Development

    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.

Engineers Australia

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.

Graduate Attributes

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, 4

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




1, 4

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain


2, 5

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




2, 5, 6

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


3, 6

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


3, 6

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




2, 5

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

2, 5

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




3, 6

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


3, 6

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


3, 6

Unit Competency and Learning Outcome Map

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: Transformers.

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers to

30 questions to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of transformer theory and construction.


Week 5




1, 2, 3


Assessment 2

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

Example Topic: Transformers and circuit breakers.

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 transformer O&M and applications and Circuit breaker theory.


Week 9




4, 5


Assessment 3

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

Example Topic: Practical work covering the application/planning aspects of transformers and switchgear for a specified substation using software such as EasyPower to simulate the results.


Week 11




5, 6


Assessment 4

Type: Exam

Example Topic: Transformers, circuit breakers, and switchgear.

An examination with a mix of detailed essay type questions and numerical problems to be completed within 2 hours.


Final Week




1 to 6


Attendance / Tutorial Participation

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






1 to 6

Prescribed and Recommended Readings


Required textbook(s)

EIT reference books on Transformers, Circuit breakers (Course code TF and CB)


Reference Materials

Number of peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures) For example: A Guide to Transformer Oil Analysis by I.A.R. GRAY Transformer Chemistry Services.


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.


Topics 1 and 2

Transformer basic theory and ratings

  1. Electromagnetic induction

  2. Basic transformer theory using a single phase transformer example

  3. Transformer equations

  4. Equivalent circuit of a transformer

  5. Phasor diagram

  6. Transformer regulation and efficiency


Topics 3 and 4

Three phase transformers, types, and construction

  1. Three phase transformer: core and shell type

  2. Power and distribution transformers

  3. Construction of transformers – basic components

  4. Insulation and cooling

  5. Mounted accessories, tap changers (off-load and on-load)

  6. Special types: Furnace Transformer, Rectifier Transformer/K-Rating, Dry Type Transformers

  7. Non-linearity in transformer magnerising characteristic on power quality


Topics 5 and 6

Transformer operation, maintenance, and testing

  1. Installation requirements of transformers, fire prevention, and control

  2. Parallel operation

  3. Transformer inspection and maintenance

  4. Testing of transformer oil, and drying of transformers

  5. Transformer tests during commissioning and maintenance

  6. Predictive testing (DGA, Frequency response, PD measurements, DP/Furan analysis etc.)



Topic 7

Basic principles of current interruption – disconnectors and circuit breakers

  1. Off load, load break, and fault interrupting devices

  2. Circuit interruption, basic principles of arc behaviour

  3. Transient recovery voltage, current chopping/pre-strike in circuit breakers

  4. General requirements of circuit breakers (Main and arcing contacts, arc quenching devices)

  5. Switching transients due to inductor/capacitor switching and transformer switching and methods used (Resistor break, point-on-wave switching)

  6. Circuit breaker ratings and applicable standards; special applications

  7. Duty cycle and other test requirements


Topics 8 and 9

LV, MV and HV circuit breakers

  1. LV circuit breakers types with air as quenching medium (ACB, MCCB, MCB, ELCB)

  2. Historical background – bulk oil and minimum oil circuit breakers

  3. Vacuum CB, SF6 CB and Auto-Reclosers for MV applications

  4. Air-blast CB and SF6 CB for HV applications

  5. Operating mechanism of LV/MV CB (direct actuation/mechanical stored energy type) and HV (pneumatic and hydraulic)

  6. Control circuit of CB and interlocks


Topics 10 and 11

LV, MV and HV switchgear

  1. Switchgear definition and types

  2. LV and MV switchgear construction

  3. Switchgear components and applications

  4. LV and MV switchgear ratings and standards

  5. HV outdoor switchyards and bus configurations

  6. Gas-insulated switchgear


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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