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Teaching Renewable Energy Through Hands On Project Based Learning For Engineering Technology Students

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Alternate Energy

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

15.1186.1 - 15.1186.8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--15788

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/15788

Download Count

170

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Paper Authors

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Rongrong Chen IUPUI

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David Goodman Indiana University Purdue Unversity Indianapolis (IUPUI)

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Afshin Izadian IUPUI

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Elaine Cooney Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

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

Teaching Renewable Energy through Hands-on Project-Based Learning for Engineering Technology Students

Abstract

Today we are facing an urgent need to prepare our undergraduate and graduate students with multidisciplinary skills to meet the challenges of the fast-growing energy economy. The objective of this paper is to explore the application of hands-on, project-based learning methods for teaching renewable energy courses to engineering technology students. Several renewable energy projects, including fuel cell, wind energy, and solar energy projects, were assigned to students who were interested in learning the new technologies. For the project assignments, the students were expected to conduct literature searches, to design experiments, to fabricate or request hardware, to test the devices, and to analyze the results. We demonstrated that hands-on teaching methods are effective for introducing various renewable energy concepts and practical skills to engineering technology students. Through working on the projects, students not only got a better understanding of the basic concepts of various types of renewable energy, but also were able to apply the concepts in the design of hardware and systems. Supervised by faculty with expertise in R&D of fuel cells, power electronics, solar energy, and thermal energy, the students were able to gain practical skills for fabricating and testing key materials, components, devices, and systems of various renewable energy technologies.

Introduction

Energy is becoming very important in the economic development of our society. The combination of the limited fossil fuel supply together with concerns about pollution and global warming has brought the development of clean and renewable energy to the forefront of future human endeavors. It has long been recognized that human activities impact many global problems that we face today, such as air and water pollution, global warming, the fuel shortage, etc., and if unchecked, these problems can bring disastrous outcomes to the earth and to all living creatures. In addition, the limited fossil fuel supply impacts the economy and national security and points to an urgent need to develop alternative renewable energy sources.

Engineers of the future will have to grapple with this energy problem for a long time to come, and it is important that universities and teachers prepare them for this task. Both graduate and undergraduate research, education, and community outreach in renewable energy will accompany the growth of research activities in this area. Current renewable energy courses emphasize instruction of principals (both qualitative and quantitative) and application of different renewable energy technologies. The students learn the fundamental and quantitative principles of the various renewable energy options, but they do not often get to practice using those skills in direct application to real-world problems. While it is essential to train students with solid analytical skills for how to design and apply different renewable energy technologies, it is also very important to train them with hands-on skills so they are able to design, fabricate, test, and manufacture key materials, components, devices, and systems of various renewable energy technologies.

The objective of this paper is to explore the application of hands-on, project-based learning methods for teaching renewable energy courses to engineering technology students. Several

Chen, R., & Goodman, D., & Izadian, A., & Cooney, E. (2010, June), Teaching Renewable Energy Through Hands On Project Based Learning For Engineering Technology Students Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15788

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