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Development Of A Renewable Energy Course For A Technology Program

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Sustainable Energy Education

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.405.1 - 15.405.15



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Paper Authors

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Faruk Yildiz Sam Houston State University

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Keith Coogler Sam Houston State University

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

Development of a Renewable Energy Course for a Technology Program Abstract

Energy systems play a critical role in everyday life and are an important part of engineering. The academic, business, and industry fields have been seriously pursuing renewable energy systems advantageous to their needs. Students graduating from engineering and technology programs are involved in buying, managing, and trading alternative energies during their careers as part of their job requirements. It is essential for engineering and technology students, at a minimum, to be familiar with renewable energy technologies and their applications and implementations. This course serves as an introduction to renewable energy with an emphasis on energy harvesting, conversion, and storage systems. It is a combination of lecture, demonstrations, student inquiry, in-class problem solving, and hands-on projects. Students are required to complete a series of exercises/projects and/or tests that reflect their knowledge of the stated objectives. A short power electronics section covers the major electrical equipments required for power transmission and power conditioning. Topics include photovoltaic systems, solar thermal systems, green buildings, hydrogen fuel-cell systems, wind power (generator and gear train systems), waste heat, biomass fuels, wave power, tidal power, active/passive human power, nuclear and hydroelectric energy, storage technologies (battery, supercapacitors), and hands-on laboratory projects. This course acquaints students with existing and potential ambient alternative energy sources, production capacities and energy harvesting, conversion, and storage techniques. Key concepts, terminology, definitions, and nomenclature common to all energy systems are introduced by using historical traditional energy generation methods and by reviewing typical energy consumption patterns. The course concludes with a general review of how to integrate energy harvesting technologies into a system that provides a continuous and uninterrupted power stream.

1. Introduction

Renewable energy related courses are becoming an essential part of engineering and engineering/industrial technology curricula. Many schools are integrating renewable energy programs or courses to their core curriculum to support existing programs to expose students to energy systems [1-7]. The nature of renewable energy courses differs depending on the program of studies in various departments. For example, construction and civil engineering technology/science programs usually adopt green building and geothermal related classes and projects [8], engineering programs adopt thermal systems, solar, wind, human power, energy conversions systems, and biomass classes related to their curricula.

Usually, renewable energy courses provide an assessment of potential for various alternative and appropriate energy technologies to meet regional and global energy demand. They also explore conservation and end-use efficiency improvements that may allow civilization to exist in a more sustainable manner. Studies of modern energy resources, extraction techniques, conversion technologies, and end-use applications consistent with a conventional engineering and engineering/industrial technology curriculum are used as a baseline. Against this baseline, the courses introduce the physics, systems, and methods of energy harvesting from non-conventional energy sources such as solar, geothermal, ocean-thermal, biomass, tidal-lunar, hydroelectric, wind, thermoelectric, human power, biomass, and waves. Advantages and disadvantages of these

Yildiz, F., & Coogler, K. (2010, June), Development Of A Renewable Energy Course For A Technology Program Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16404

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