June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1555.1 - 12.1555.13
Using Mathcad to Enhance the Effectiveness of the Wind Energy Topic in an Alternate Energy Sources Course B. K. Hodge
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.
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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