June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Energy Conversion and Conservation
11.37.1 - 11.37.11
ASEE 2006 Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill 2006-344
Energy Conversion & Conservation Division
The Description of a Capstone Project to Develop a Web-Based Energy Center for Monitoring Alternative Power Generation Systems for Thermodynamics Laboratory Experiments
Francis A. Di Bella, PE Director, School of Engineering Technology Ryan E. Healey, Electrical Engineering Technology (Cl. of 2006) Northeastern University, Boston, MA
ABSTRACT The recent extreme hurricane damage to the Gulf coast states and the consequential disruption of oil refinement emphasized the delicate balance that the United States is in with regards to energy consumption and supply. The future of the United States or any developed nation lies in a reliable and plentiful energy resource. Certainly there are renewable energy technologies that have been deployed throughout the United States. In order to bring these developments to the awareness of current engineering and engineering technology students it is necessary to develop a state-of-the-art curriculum that the students can use to learn the necessary thermodynamics. A Capstone project by a team of electrical and computer engineering technology students has begun to develop a means of acquiring web-based data from energy sites that have alternative and renewable energy systems in operation. This paper will describe the progress made to date along with the future experiments designed to be used in conjunction with the database.
Introduction and Background The disasters that were witnessed in the United States during 2005 initially brought fear and surprise to the citizenry that was most directly affected. Soon after, the consequential damages were also felt by citizens across the country when oil prices continued to rise as before but now were exacerbated by the shut-down of the oil refineries and oil platforms that were in the path of the storm. The uncertainty of how long it would take to recover from these storms, forced the prices of gasoline to go as high as almost $4.00 per gallon in many parts of the country. The prices eventually abated but not before the typical consumer was awakened to the reality that what required millions of years to produce, was now literally within 40 to 50 years from depletion. Fuel costs of $3.00 per gallon or more may soon be the norm and not the temporary consequences of nature; the cost of petroleum in Europe is already over $4.00 per gallon.
A United Nations Committee on Third World developing nations has determined that a major requirement but also a major obstacle for developing nations, is the need for more efficient and innovative energy and power generation and delivery.1 It is clear that the
1 United Nations report on the 2001 Millennium Project (http://millennium-project.org) found that the leading response to the question: “What challenges can science pursue whose resolution would significantly improve the human condition?” was the answer: “Commercial availability of a cheap,
Healey, R., & Di Bella, F. (2006, June), A Description Of A Capstone Project To Develop A Web Based Energy Center For Monitoring Alternative And Renewable Energy Sites Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--196
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