# Power Grid Failure Part 2

```UTA RET Hazard Mitigation Lesson
Power Grid Failure LESSON 2
Susan Patterson – Duncanville ISD
TE Lesson: I’ve Got the Power – The Quest for Power
Grade Level: Secondary students – Algebra II and PreCalculus
Prerequisites: Basic Physics; Basic Electricity Concepts; Understanding of Algebraic Properties;
Regression Analysis
Lesson Dependency: Algebraic Properties
Time Required: 90 minutes
Keywords: power, current, resistance, topology, network architecture, load balancing, solar energy,
renewable energy, power grid, congestion zone, source, sink, photovoltaic battery, light meter
Summary: This lesson is a continuation of the first “I’ve Got the Power” lesson. We will discuss series
and parallel circuit topologies and these topologies affect power flow through the circuit by taking
measurements of current and voltage through the architectures. The student will graph the data from these
measurements and record observations. Finally, the students will be introduced to the concept of the Smart
Grid and its viability in the home.
Engineering Connection: As we as a nation look for cleaner, alternative sources of power, electrical
engineers are developing new ways to harness and store power while also inventing appliances that are more
energy efficient.
Engineering Category – Electrical Engineering
This lesson is two-fold. It:
1. relates science concept to engineering,
2. relates math concept to engineering,
3. provides engineering analysis or partial design
4. provides complete engineering design process.
Category 3 items are primarily engineering with some science/math, and category 4 presents full engineering
design.
Educational Standards
TEK – 112.39 Physics 5 (F) Design, construct, and calculate in terms of current through, potential difference
across, resistance of, and power used by electric circuit elements connected in both series and parallel
combinations.
TEK – Pre-Calculus – The student uses functions and their properties to
model and solve real-life problems. The student is
expected to
(A) use functions such as logarithmic,
exponential, trigonometric, polynomial, etc.
to model real-life data;
(B) use regression to determine a function to
model real-life data;
(C) use properties of functions to analyze and
solve problems and make predictions; and
Prerequisite Knowledge: Formulas for voltage and power
Learning Objectives: After an engaging introduction to power and energy in the home, SWBAT:
 Review voltage, current, and resistance : http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_1/chpt_2/1.html ,
 Measure readings of a photovoltaic cell used to power small device (MP3 player)
 Measure readings of circuit using photovoltaic cell on simple circuit.
 Measure reading of circuits with devices (LEDs) in parallel and series connection
 Compare and contrast measurement
 Discuss issues with the Texas power grid (Smart-grid hackers)
Explore: (Purpose: to simulate how circuits in a home can become overloaded).
The student will take perform a “lab” where they are given photovoltaic cell and use a light meter to
determine how much energy is stored in the cell. Make sure that the cell is “fully charged” by the sun.
Show students how the circuit is using Boolean Algebra by using the gate switch. At a certain voltage, the
LED light will light, but below that voltage, the LED will not light. This can be written as a piecewise
function
Extension:
1. Part I: The student will investigate the concept of renewable energy and discuss different
applications (pair/share – wind mills, ocean/wave motion, etc.) Introduce students to the solar energy
and how a photovoltaic battery works. The student will then make some observations of power
storage measurements based on lighting in room, flashlight, etc. The student will then calculate the
amount of power can be stored in the battery.
2. Part II: The student will investigate network topologies. Topologies to be discussed include:
a. Parallel
b. Serial
The student will used these designs to measure the power between nodes to determine if load
balancing exists and if a architecture is better than another.
3. Review slides regarding the Smart-Grid.
Ethics (Closure) : Smart-grid hackers
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-problem-smart-grid-hackers
Student will read the attached blog about the Smart Grid and write three issues that may concern them about
the grid. Have the students pair/share with a classmate. Use a graphic organizer (found in student pages) to
compare and contrast the benefits and issues surrounding the Smart Grid.
Assessment: One page essay about this one type of renewable energy and the mathematics used. Make sure
that they use notes from interactive website, KWL and graphic organizer. Sample grading