June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.975.1 - 12.975.11
Introducing Renewable Energy Education into An Engineering Technology Program
This paper presents the first stage to implement green energy education into an engineering technology program making use of a solar power generation station. As issues such as climate change, global warming, increased blackouts, and oil price fluctuation continue to pepper the news, it is likely that the use of renewable energy will become an increasing national priority that will affect the next generation of college students. It is apparent that there is still a widespread lack of understanding about the benefits of using alternative energy sources. As such, there is clearly a need to educate the community about sustainable energy and our institution provides an excellent venue for reaching a large audience in creative and effective ways. The solar system will serve as a demonstration platform for educating undergraduate students about contemporary renewable energy theory and technology. Key to this educational strategy is the development of projects that can assist in educating students in all aspects of renewable energy, thus, raising public awareness of the requirement to protect the environment.
A trademark of the United States’ economic growth is an ever-increasing demand for energy, which has traditionally been met primarily by combusting the hydrocarbons found in fossil fuels. As national security and environmental concerns grow, renewable energy resources are gaining increased attention. Unfortunately, there is currently a lack of renewable energy coverage in engineering and technology curricula. Even with the progressive developments of non-traditional energy sources over the years, the U.S. still receives more than 90% of its energy from fossil and nuclear fuels. However, the use of renewable energy is increasing with applications including green power generation for homes, cottage industries, health clinics, and community centers. Illinois has abundant solar and wind resources and students will soon be asking for more curricular support in this area.
As issues such as climate change, global warming, increased blackouts, and oil price fluctuation continue to pepper the news 1-3, it is likely that the use of renewable energy will become an increasing national priority that will affect the next generation of college students4. Indeed, a statewide survey5 has found that the vast majority of American residents want to see more use and development of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. However, it is apparent6 that there is still a widespread lack of understanding about the benefits of using alternative energy sources. As such, there is clearly a need to educate the public of sustainable energy and our institution provides the best venue for reaching a large audience in creative and effective ways.
An enormous benefit of “green” power is its impact on air quality and other aspects of the environment. According to the US government's Energy Information Administration, over one fourth of the air pollution produced by burning fossil fuels is a by-product of electric power production. Acid rain caused by emissions of sulfur dioxide during the burning of coal and oil,
Al Kalaani, Y., & Rosentrator, K. (2007, June), Introducing Renewable Energy Education Into Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2863
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