WTTP 2701
Electrical Fundamentals II

3.0 Credits


This course is a continuation of Electrical Fundamentals 1 which looks beyond the basic electricity fundamentals and motor control towards the utilization of electrical theory in practical applications. While further fundamental theory is to be covered, such as solid-state electronics and numbering systems, the majority of the information covered in these modules will reference practical applications.

Delivery Method



Industry experience or acceptance into the Water Treatment Technology program.


After successfully completing the work in this course, students should be able to:

  • Explain the operation of basic electronic devices and simple circuits.
  • Explain the theory behind variable frequency drives (VFDs).
  • Analyze advanced motor control circuits.
  • Work with numbering systems other than the decimal system.
  • Understand basic digital logic gates.
  • Understand the fundamentals of programmable logic controllers (PLCs).
  • Create simple PLC programs.
  • Diagnose problems in a PLC-controlled system.

Course Outline

Module A: Basic Electronic Devices

  • Describe the molecular construction of semiconductor material.
  • Understand how semiconductors conduct electricity.
  • Explain the principles behind the PN-junction diode.
  • Describe the operation of and investigate where and when single-phase AC rectifier circuits are used.
  • Describe the operation of filters for rectifier circuits.
  • Describe features of the bipolar-junction transistor.
  • Describe basic applications of the junction transistor.
  • Describe the basic operation of the junction transistor.
  • Describe the features of the silicon-controlled rectifier.
  • Understand and describe the basic action of the SCR.

Module B: Variable Frequency Drives

  • List the main blocks of a VFD.
  • Describe the operation of each block.
  • Describe the characteristics of a VFD.
  • Analyze common problems associated with VFDs
  • List the three common types of VFDs and describe their operation.
  • Describe the differences between the common types of frequency converters.
  • Describe the effect a variable frequency and voltage have on torque of a motor.
  • Design considerations of motors used on VFDs.
  • Describe dynamic and regenerative braking.
  • Describe the components of a flux-vector control.
  • List common settings for proper operation of a VFD.

Module C: Advanced Motor Control

  • Recognize and draw common symbols for pilot control of motors.
  • Understand the operating principles of common pilot devices.
  • Describe appropriate uses for the pilot devices studied.
  • Describe the operation of control relays and interpret their ratings so that they may be applied to the appropriate tasks.
  • Describe the operating features of timer relays, draw the proper symbols, and determine the appropriate circuits where they are best suited.
  • Understand how motors can be automatically controlled to start in sequence and be automatically shut down when one in a sequence fails to start or keep running.
  • Understand how motors can be timed in their starting sequence and how timers can be useful in controlling overall operations of motors.

Module D: Basic Digital Techniques

  • Understand the decimal numbering system.
  • Understand the octal numbering system.
  • Understand the binary numbering system.
  • Understand the hexadecimal numbering system.
  • Describe the operation of basic digital logic gates.
  • Recognize the basic symbols of digital logic gates.

Module E: Programmable Logic Controllers

  • Describe the features of programmable logic controllers.
  • Understand the advantages of using PLCs over conventional relay systems.
  • Be aware of different way to program the PLC.
  • Describe the types of memory found in programmable logic controllers.
  • Understand how the memory is structured with use of addressing.
  • Describe the types of input and output modules found in programmable logic controllers.
  • Be aware of electrical considerations required for each type of I/O module.
  • Describe the operation of the PLC cycle.
  • Describe how to program a basic PLC program.
  • Understand how field devices are addressed in memory.
  • Understand how logic is solved in the PLC.
  • Understand how to create simple PLC program circuits.
  • Understand how to use timers and counters in practical applications.
  • Describe the differences between programming modes such as off-line and on-line.
  • Understand some of the differences between programming software.
  • Describe the different communication methods and settings to consider.
  • Understand what operating modes are available on a PLC.
  • Be able to interpret the status LEDs on a PLC.

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

There is no required textbook for this course.

Additional Requirements

Computer with Internet required.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through Blackboard's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information when starting the course.


To successfully complete this course students must obtain 50% or higher on the final exam and in the course overall. Students taking this course and applying it towards a Certificate I, II, or III or Water Treatment Diploma must obtain a minimum 60% average in the course overall to meet program requirements.

The final assessment will be determined on the following basis:

Midterm 1 25%
Midterm 2 25%
Final exam 50%