Thomas & Katrin Hitzner
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DCAC Inverter (EN)

A Training Project for a 12V DC to 230V AC inverter

This project is an example for action orientated training (in German: Handlungsorientiertes Training). The program was developed 2015/2016 by me, Thomas Hitzner, and Michael K. Ford.  We implemented it for the unit "Power Electronics" at the Yanbu College of Applied Technology. Feel free to download following example documents (use "save target as ..."):

The training is divided into two dimensions:

Dimension 1: The project targets three (3) different objectives:

  1. Improve the trainees’ technical knowledge about DC-AC inverters; this content is the same as for the course “Power Electronics.”
  2. Improve trainees’ knowledge and understanding of how to manage projects. Trainees are encouraged to do this project correctly by following the project management rules.
  3. Improve the English skills of the trainees.

Dimension 2: This project is divided into 5 phases- just like with a timeline. These phases are designed to be action-oriented training. The trainer will act as a moderator. Activities will be done mostly by the trainees. Every phase has exercises for technical knowledge, project management knowledge and English training.

Phase 1: Understanding the project

The trainer defines and explains the project. He divides the class into working groups, so that trainees will have an orientation class to understand about the timelines. The trainer will then discuss with the trainees about the importance of DC-AC inverters. Later on trainees will have to find examples of where to use power inverters in their own life. The trainer will explain with examples how SMART terminology will be used in this project.

Phase 2: Collecting Information about the project

Groups will be selected and remain the same throughout the project. Trainees will be working in groups of two or three. It is important to know that trainees must educate and inform themselves. This can be completed through use of journals, textbooks, internet and communication with other training organizations, etc. After that, trainees will have to select the information which is best to create the product. Assistance by the trainer will be given only if needed.

Phase 3: Planning and designing of the product

The groups must now develop a work plan. The trainer can present an example solution at the end of the phase for groups who have weak results.

Phase 4: Project implementation

Implementation means performing and completing the activities described in the work plan. It requires the coordination of many different activities. The product, the DC-AC inverter, is only one part of the project. Trainees will also have to deliver documentation and test boards or prototypes, week by week.

Phase 5: Evaluation of the project

The groups present their work results. Other groups will evaluate the result. Mistakes should be analyzed and alternatives developed. "Learning from mistakes" is an important idea to understand and practice in this action-oriented project!