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Use of Adaptable Simulation-based Virtual Laboratories for Teaching Alternative Energy and Energy Conservation in Engineering & Technology Programs

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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

Digital Simulation Tools in Energy Education

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1586.1 - 22.1586.12



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Paper Authors

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Yakov Cherner ATEL, LLC


Ahmed S. Khan DeVry University, DuPage Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Ahmed S. Khan is a senior Professor in the College of Engineering and Information Sciences, DeVry University, Addison, Illinois. He received his M.Sc. (applied physics) from University of Karachi, an M.S.E.E. from Michigan Technological University, an M.B.A. from Keller Graduate School of Management., and his Ph.D. from Colorado State University. His research interests are in the areas of Fiber Optic Communications, Faculty Development, Nanotechnology, Application of Telecommunications Technologies in Distance Education, and impact of Technology on Society. He teaches Wireless Engineering, Network Engineering, Fiber Optic Communications, Technology and Society, and Project Management. He also advises students on their senior design projects. He is the author of “The Telecommunications Fact Book, 2E” and co-author of “Technology and Society: Crossroads to the 21st Century,” “Technology and Society: A Bridge to the 21st Century,” and “Technology and Society: Issues for the 21st Century and Beyond.” He is a member of ASEE, and a senior member of IEEE.

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Aminul Karim DeVry University, Downers Grove

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Amin Karim has been with DeVry University since 1991. He served in the academic affairs department in various capacities, most recently retired as the director of engineering and information sciences programs Currently he is serving as the director of academic outreach for the university.

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Gary J. Mullett Springfield Technical Community College

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Adjustable Simulation-based Virtual Laboratories for Learning Alternative Energy and Energy ConservationThe paper will present multilayered highly interactive simulation-based integrated and adjustablevirtual laboratories for Engineering and Technology Education focusing on alternative energyand energy conservation subjects. These labs are designed to enhance the understanding oftechnical concepts and underlying fundamental principles, as well as to help students mastercertain performance based skills online. The simulations and labs help students explore theeconomic aspect of using alternative energy devices. The virtual labs can be link with relatedhands-on labs to form hybrid laboratoriesVirtual labs contain expandable sets of virtual experiments (VE), as well as relevant learningresources and assessment activities. Each VE focuses on a particular task and comprises suchcomponents as highly interactive main and auxiliary Java of Flash simulations, specific learningobjectives, experiment description, step-by step instruction for students, worksheet, built-in lessonsand technical manuals to facilitate “just-in-time” learning, embedded assessment and otherresources. An easy-to-use tool that enables instructors with no-programming experience to produceappealing and pedagogically sound interactive virtual activities is available as well. An example of amultilayered virtual lab on a solar water heating system is shown in the figure below.Realistic simulations visualize processes occurring in the devices and enable students to observe thephysical processes at different levels (from macroscopic to subatomic), analyze constraints betweenphysical parameters, compare actual and virtual data, and much more.Presented materials have been developed with partial support from the NSF.

Cherner, Y., & Khan, A. S., & Karim, A., & Mullett, G. J. (2011, June), Use of Adaptable Simulation-based Virtual Laboratories for Teaching Alternative Energy and Energy Conservation in Engineering & Technology Programs Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18578

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