CDIO – The steam engine powering the electric grid

Chresten Træholt, Joachim Holbøll, Ole Cornelius Thomsen, Claus Kjærgaard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In building the new DTU B.Eng programme [1] one of the pilots on the 4’th semester is the Design-build project course in Electric Energy Systems. In this course, which is the last Designbuild course many of the CDIO Syllabus bullets [2] are addressed starting with problem identification and formulation, experimental inquiry and modelling, finally leading to planning and solution. The goal is to acquire the skills that are needed for an engineer within electric power engineering to analyse a given task, define the necessary steps to solve the task, organize him/her self and others and finally solve the task with success. The concrete work is built up around a miniaturized electric energy system powered by a steam engine. The system mimics an essential sub-section of a real electric power system. The process is realised with a combination of optional lectures, optional exercises, 3 set of self evaluations, weekly supervision and a concluding 3 weeks of intensive lab work. 50+ students are divided in 5 large groups allowing for subsequent sub-organization among 10+ students. The result is well functioning work groups, a robust electric energy system optionally with innovative add-ons such as a solar panel or a cable connection to other similar systems and the acquisition of basic skills within electric power engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International CDIO Conference
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
Publication date2011
ISBN (Print)978‐87‐985272‐6‐8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event7th International CDIO Conference - Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 20 Jun 201123 Jun 2011
Conference number: 7


Conference7th International CDIO Conference
LocationTechnical University of Denmark
Internet address


  • Electric energy system
  • Self evaluation
  • Operation
  • Group work
  • Innovation
  • Steam engine


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