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Using Mathcad To Enhance The Effectiveness Of The Wind Energy Topic In An Alternate Energy Sources Course

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Software and E-learning in the ME Curriculum

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

12.1555.1 - 12.1555.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2595

Download Count

74

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Paper Authors

biography

B.K. Hodge

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B. K. Hodge is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU) where he serves as the TVA Professor of Energy Systems and the Environment and is a Giles Distinguished Professor and a Grisham Master Teacher. He served as President of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Southeastern Section for the 1999-2000 Academic Year and was the 2004-2005 Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Division of the ASEE.

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

Using Mathcad to Enhance the Effectiveness of the Wind Energy Topic in an Alternate Energy Sources Course B. K. Hodge

Abstract

The use of Mathcad to enhance the classroom presentation and extend the level of a meaningful quantitative experience for wind energy systems in an alternate energy systems survey course is explored. Because of time constraints, less than two weeks of class time is available for wind energy. One of the instructional goals for wind energy systems is to present a meaningful quantitative experience for the topic. By utilizing Mathcad and developing a worksheet centered about the Weibull distribution as particularized to wind energy metrics, the quantitative experience has been extended to the evaluation of system performance—a significant and useful enhancement. The use of Mathcad to enhance the quantitative coverage of wind energy systems was a success.

Introduction

The escalating cost of energy is a dominant feature of the 21st Century and has resulted in increased interest in alternate energy sources topics in engineering education. At Mississippi State University, ME 4353 Alternate Energy Sources1, 2 is taught as a technical elective/beginning graduate course in the Mechanical Engineering program. The course is a survey course that examines a number of alternate energy sources and alternate applications of existing energy sources. One of the topics considered is wind energy. Because of time constraints, less than two weeks of class time is available for most topics, including wind energy. The instructional goals of each alternate energy topic are to present the relevant harvesting principle, to survey the availability of the source, and to present a meaningful quantitative experience for the topic. This paper explores the use of Mathcad to enhance the classroom presentation and extend the level of a meaningful quantitative experience for wind energy. The wind energy topic in earlier offerings of the course examined the taxonomy of wind energy systems3, the availability of wind energy resources4, and the role of the power coefficient in wind energy3, 4 and presented some examples of available wind energy systems and some fundamental computations involving wind turbines3, 4. However, the computations, the “quantitative” experience, did not extend beyond routine calculations for specified conditions. By introducing Mathcad and developing a worksheet centered about the Weibull distribution as particularized to wind energy metrics, the quantitative experience has been extended to the evaluation of system performance—a significant and useful enhancement. Discussion and examples of the use of Mathcad in wind energy engineering topics in the course are presented in the following sections.

Wind Speed Distribution Any assessment of wind energy topics requires a description of the wind speed distribution. The Weibull distribution is commonly used to assess the metrics of a wind turbine. The probability of occurrence of a given wind speed as expressed by the Weibull distribution4 is

Hodge, B. (2007, June), Using Mathcad To Enhance The Effectiveness Of The Wind Energy Topic In An Alternate Energy Sources Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2595

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