June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Energy Conversion and Conservation
14.752.1 - 14.752.13
Integrating Alternative Energy Technology into Engineering Education
Alternative Energy Technology attracts more and more attention as evidenced by the tremendous amount of investment from the federal government, automotive industry, and fuel cell /photovoltaic cell manufacturers. To advance the search for solutions to the world’s most pressing energy problems and to prepare our future Connecticut workforce for the emerging alternative energy technology field, University of Bridgeport (UB) has provided a graduate level course, Alternative Energy Technology. This course is related to chemistry, electronics, and mechanics and the graduate students are with different engineering background. The challenges in the teaching are addressed and the possible solutions are given in this paper. Moreover, the teaching experience in this course is helpful for the licensure application for a new M.S. program, Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE) in the school of Engineering at UB.
The world energy demand keeps increasing in recent years due to the rapidly rising living standards and expanding populations. However, the non-renewable energy resource, fossil fuels, is running out and the crude oil supply from Middle East is unstable1. Thus, the price of energy dramatically fluctuates. In the same time, the using of fossil fuels causes air pollution and global warming with the accumulation of greenhouse gasses. To meet the energy demand, improve the energy security, and protect the environment, developing alternative or sustainable energy, such as solar, wind, tide, geothermal, biomass energy, is a promising solution.
In U.S., the energy consumption increases around 25% from 1970 to 2008 and the import energy resource increases proportionally due to the constant energy resource production as shown in Figure 1. Electricity from sustainable energy resources (excluding hydropower) have nearly doubled since 2000 as shown in Figure 2 (a). Wind grew 45% and solar (photovoltaic cells) PV grew 40% in 2007 from the previous year as shown in Figure 2 (b). Both of them are the fastest growing renewable energy sectors. However, electricity from sustainable energy resources (excluding hydropower) in 2007 still represents a small percentage of overall installed electricity capacity (3%) and generation (2.5%) in the U.S. as shown in Figure 2 (b).
Zhang, L., & Xiong, X., & Hu, J. (2009, June), Integrating Alternative Energy Technology Into Engineering Education Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4562
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