12 Electrical Engineering Projects That Will Impress Your Teachers
You need to impress your teachers, right? It’s the only way you’ll get the marks—and hopefully a recommendation for that first job or grad school.
These days, engineering students have to find creative ways to show off their knowledge of design, control, and maintenance of electrical equipment to stay ahead of their peers.
That’s why the final year electrical project an engineering student picks, is so important. Luckily, your options are vast. These days it can be about anything from power generation to robotics.
Wherever your interest lies, there's is something here for you.
1. Show your skills with GSM
Why not use a technology relevant to everyday life, such as GSM?
GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) is well known in terms of phones. But why not use it to help monitor and control substations?
In this project, you’ll show how aspects of a substation can be monitored remotely. This can save valuable time and person-hours. How useful would it be if these features like current, voltage, temperature, and power output didn’t have to be measured manually?
Data regarding these features can be captured and sent via GSM. A controller can then view the data and determine if adjustments are necessary for safety or functionality purposes. GSM can also be used to control circuit breakers and relays.
Does this sound like something you can build?
2. Keep forests safe from fires
Yes, your skills can benefit the environment, too. This project is a simple—and necessary—system that needs a certain level of expertise to ensure accuracy.
Smoke and fire detectors—which can be placed in forests—can be linked to an electronic alert system via Zigbee communication. When a fire occurs, the authorities—such as the fire department—are automatically informed so they can take quick action.
If done right, no human actions are necessary. A Zigbee-transceiver-based computer can even put fire protecting equipment into action from a remote location.
If you love the environment, this may be the project for you.
3. Let’s automate our homes
Alternatively, you may want to make life easier for people at home. Home automation is undoubtedly the future, why not get ahead of the curve with this project?
Through a wireless Bluetooth connection and an interactive Android app, you can allow people to control their appliances remotely. To do so, you need to get the following right:
- Create a user-friendly app
- Create a microcontroller which can be easily placed on appliances
- Allow smartphones to pair with the receivers on the appliances while ensuring high connectivity
Home automation is already part of our homes. You could help speed up this trend.
4. Get the most out of solar power
The use of solar power is growing rapidly, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Large solar panels are being installed in great quantities, but one limiting factor is the need for the panels to move with the sun. So, what if we could optimize power output with fewer panels?
By designing an MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) system to determine the maximum power generating point, you can help people optimize their systems.
You’ll need to design algorithms to control a DC converter to manage the output voltage. Your focus will need to be on minimizing photovoltaic system costs. Can you help people save money on solar power?
5. Control the traffic
You can do your part to help minimize traffic congestion with a traffic control system. You’ll need to use PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) and SCADA HMI.
If you get this project right you’ll need to design a system that can:
- Collect traffic data about various busy areas and intersections
- Analyze the data
- Synchronize traffic flow by remotely controlling traffic lights
One more example of how electrical engineering projects can solve ordinary problems of society, such as saving people time on the road and possibly even preventing accidents.
6. Strengthen your understanding of power usage and costs
Another idea is to create a unit that limits penalty bearing for industries.
You will need to develop a way to manage capacitors according to the values of the power factor. This factor is determined by ZVS (Zero Voltage Switching) and ZCS (Zero Current Switching). The goal is that, even if the power factor becomes low, no bearing penalty will apply, because you connect additional capacitors in the system to be used when necessary. The need for this in the industrial markets is huge.
7. Manage Speed
If you want a mechanical load to run at a specific speed, it shouldn’t be a guessing game. You can improve accuracy with a closed-loop system for a brushless DC motor. The closed system allows the real speed to be monitored. If necessary, adjustments can be made via PWM signals.
The right approach should include a keypad to allow the user to enter the desired speed. Are you up for the challenge?
8. Ultimate home luxury
Electrical engineers can solve problems, but they can also improve on current innovations. Homes and offices are already stuffed with devices that use energy, and developing a way to save energy is always going to be useful and in-demand.
Design a system that switches on lights when someone enters a room, and off when they leave. Of course, your system must monitor the number of people entering and exiting. The light shouldn’t go off while some people are still left in the room.
This can be done through the use of:
- IR LED sensors
- IR sensors
Now, no one needs to worry about forgetting to switch off the lights.
9. Arduino controlled homes
How about turning your Arduino development board into the ultimate home control unit? And it can all be done through a phone.
Once again, you need to create a user-friendly interface and application. This app will need to communicate via Bluetooth with various home features such as lights and air conditioning systems.
The most important part is that the Arduino board must be able to manage the commands from the user. It will control loads sent to appliances by using Opto-isolators cum TRAIC arrangements.
You can design this as your final year project, and then enjoy using it in your own home. Remember to include privacy settings on all applications.
10. Ensure soft starts for better outcomes
A 3-phase induction motor can have costly problems when the start-up procedure doesn’t run smoothly. Can you think of a way to minimize this problem?
When the starting current is lower, your startup will automatically be smoother, and therefore less expensive. And it’s possible. All you need are:
- Silicon controlled rectifiers
- Three-phase induction motor
- Control unit
Design the system so that the thyristors will receive triggering signals from the control unit whenever the motor starts.
11. Create a wireless power transfer system
Your next challenge? Create a device that can transfer power wirelessly. This project is not as difficult as you think. The end device will transfer power wirelessly instead of using conventional copper cables and current-carrying wire. You will need:
- HF Transformer
- 2 Inductor Coils
- Cables and Connectors
- PCB and Breadboards
- Push Buttons
The concept of wireless power transfer was originally introduced by Nikola Tesla. Once completed, it has a host of applications.
12. The ultimate solar inverter
For the uninitiated, a solar microinverter is a standard plug-and-play device that is used in photovoltaics. It converts the direct current generated by a single solar module to alternating current. Though you can use any normal inverter circuit and hook it up to a solar panel. If this sounds like something that you would be interested in, be sure to check out the project here.
We hope these projects help you realize what’s possible when you apply your electrical engineering skills. Other projects centering around signal processing and circuit design are excellent ways to test your skills. If you want to jump into the world Matlab Image processing or Matlab Advanced Image Processing, be sure to stop here.
And remember, it’s about using your skills and knowledge to solve both big and little problems.
For more great DIY projects, check these out.
Ryan Harne and his team created a material that can "think".