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Renewable Energy-Based Senior Design Experience for Undergraduate Students

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Project-Based Education in Energy Curriculum

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1240.1 - 22.1240.9



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Paper Authors

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Sanjay Jayaram Saint Louis University, Parks College of Engineering

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Sridhar S. Condoor Saint Louis University, Parks College of Engineering

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Renewable Energy-based Senior Design Experience for Undergraduate StudentsEnergy is becoming very important in the economic development of our society. Thecombination of the limited fossil fuel supply together with concerns about pollution and globalwarming has brought the development of clean and renewable energy to the forefront of futuretechnological endeavors. This has ignited considerable interests in education and research onrenewable energy methods and renewable energy systems projects. As such, there is anunprecedented priority for educating and training a technologically solid workforce with anenergy focus. For the last few years the focus of the mechanical engineering program ofAerospace and Mechanical Engineering department at Saint Louis University has concentratedtowards incorporating renewable energy projects in our senior design courses.In this paper, we will demonstrate the following three points, (1) constraint-based innovativedesign concepts exercising fundamental principles from physics and chemistry, (2) well definedproject scope to satisfy student, industrial reviewers and sponsor’s needs, and (3) systemsengineering concepts including project management, team work, communications, and ethics etc.Multidisciplinary design teams are used whereby the students interact with their peers and withthe faculty inside and outside of the class room. Some design examples are offered to show ourexperiences of incorporating Renewable Energy projects in the senior design course, like designand development of a biomass bioreactor test-bench, design and development of vertical axiswind turbine. The primary goal of the projects is to provide students with a deeper understandingof the need for renewable energy sources, the advantages and disadvantages of a particularenergy type, and the global and economic impact of the chosen energy type. The senior designexamples are discussed to show our experiences of incorporating Renewable Energy projects inthe senior design course. Introduction of renewable energy projects into our curriculum hasimpacted students, faculty, and university community positively and promoted feasibility andadoption of more eco-friendly energy technologies.

Jayaram, S., & Condoor, S. S. (2011, June), Renewable Energy-Based Senior Design Experience for Undergraduate Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18571

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