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An Energy Harvesting Curriculum Developed And Offered At The Illinois Institute Of Technology

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Sustainable Education and the Environment

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.184.1 - 14.184.11



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Paper Authors

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Omer Onar Illinois Institute of Technology

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Alireza Khaligh Illinois Institute of Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Energy Harvesting Curriculum Developed and Offered at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)


This paper presents the curriculum development to satisfy the needs in teaching energy harvesting and renewable energy systems. In order to restructure the energy industry through energy harvesting from renewable sources instead of fossil fuels, energy industry will require young and talented minds in very close future. The offered course in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) allows the students not only apply their previous knowledge of power electronics, control systems, system analysis, and system design to this new field, but also provides them with experience of new methods and trends in various scales of energy harvesting applications. Many harvesting techniques such as solar, ocean wave-tide-thermal, vibration, linear motion, passive and active human power generation methods are taught in the class. Their operational principles are addressed. Research, simulation, or experiment based projects with emphasis on power electronic interfaces for energy harvesting applications are assigned to student groups. Descriptions of course topics and interesting concepts are given in details with the provided results from the students projects.

Introduction - The Need for an Energy Harvesting Course

Energy harvesting also called energy scavenging is a concept by which energy is captured, stored, and utilized. Unlike the conventional electric power generation systems, in energy harvesting concept, fossil fuels are not used and the generation units might be decentralized. There are many sources for harvesting energy. Solar, wind, ocean, hydro, electromagnetic, electrostatic, thermal, vibration, and human body motion are renewable sources of energy. Even the energy of radio frequency waves, propagated due to television and radio broadcasting in the environment, can be harvested. Economic, environmental, and geopolitical constraints on global conventional energy resources started forcing the nation to accelerate energy harvesting from renewable energy sources. Thus, advanced technical methods should be developed to increase the efficiency of devices in harvesting energy from various environmentally friendly resources and converting them into electrical energy. These developments have sparked interest in engineering community as well as the engineering education community to develop more energy harvesting applications and new curriculums for renewable energy and energy harvesting topics.

Table I summarizes the contents of the offered Energy Harvesting course at IIT.

Table I. Syllabus of the course. Week Topic #1 Introduction to Energy Harvesting #2 Solar Energy Harvesting: Characteristics of Photovoltaic (PV) Systems, PV Models and Equivalent Circuits, Sun Tracking Systems, Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) Techniques, Power Electronic Interfaces for PV Systems, Sizing the PV Panel and Battery Pack in a Stand-alone PV Applications #3 Modern Solar Energy Applications (Residential Applications, Electric Vehicle

Onar, O., & Khaligh, A. (2009, June), An Energy Harvesting Curriculum Developed And Offered At The Illinois Institute Of Technology Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4898

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