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Alternative Renewable Energy Applications

AREA 110 INTRODUCTION TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

Fall, 3 credit hours

Students will discuss the usefulness of various types of energies as they relate to the future of this planet. Topics will include passive and active solar systems, fuel cells, hydroelectric power, geothermal heat transfer, and wind energy. Three hours lecture per week.

AREA 210 SUSTAINABLE BUILDING

Spring, 3 credit hours

This course is an introduction to building science. Basic topics are introduced such as air leakage, heating, cooling, and insulation. Students will also see different types of building construction and how they relate to building science.

AREA 224 RENEWABLE ENERGY ELECTRICAL CODE

Fall/Spring, 3 credit hours

This course deals with the National Electrical Code (NEC) for renewable energy systems. The various aspects of the electrical code are studied to ensure proper system design and installations. Safety issues as related to the various sections of the code are emphasized.

Pre-requisites: ELEC 261 Electricity or ELEC 171 & ELEC 172 Electrical Construction and Maintenance I & II

AREA 300 FUEL CELLS

Fall/Spring, 3 credit hours

Students will discover the science involved in the operation of fuel cells and technical applications of a fuel cell in providing electricity and heat. Topics explored are hydrogen as a fuel, energy efficiency, and operational characteristics of a fuel cell. In depth studies of proton exchange membrane, alkaline electrolyte fuel cells, and direct methanol fuel cells will teach students about the conversion of hydrogen fuel to useable forms of energy.

Prerequisites: Intro. to Thermodynamics (MECH 225), College Chemistry I (CHEM 105) and junior level status or permission of instructor.

AREA 303 WIND TURBINES

Fall/Spring, 3 credit hours

This course is an introduction to issues related to the production of electricity from wind power. The study of the atmospheric science necessary to locate wind turbines for the production of electricity will teach students how to interpret data. In addition, the study of design and control will allow for a comprehensive knowledge of all sub-components of a wind turbine. A complete analysis of all the technology utilized in the production of electricity will assist students in knowing the details involved in sizing and citing of wind turbines.

Prerequisites: Electricity (ELEC 261) and Electrical Energy Conversion (ELEC 215) or permission of instructor.

AREA 310 BIOFUELS

Fall/Spring, 3 credit hours

This course covers alternative, renewable fuels derived from biological sources and their applications as an energy source for homes, industry and transportation. Wood, urban, and agricultural solid waste are discussed as potential sources of energy conversion. In addition, the production of methane and alcohol based fuels and their roles as a transportation fuel will lead to a re-discovery of opportunities to replace fossil-based fuels. Bio-diesel and vegetable oil topics are necessary to show a true alternate energy source for internal combustion engines. Throughout this course, students will examine both advantage and disadvantage of Biofuels as an energy source.

Prerequisites: Intro. to Chemistry (CHEM 101) and junior level status or permission of instructor.

AREA 320 EXPERIMENTATION & MEASUREMENT I

Fall, 3 credit hours

In this laboratory students will learn experimental methods, instrumentation for engineering measurements, statistical estimates of experimental uncertainty, and calibration techniques. Students will perform laboratory experiments that are applicable to energy systems as well as to broader engineering applications. This course serves as the foundation for higher level lab and design courses in this curriculum. Three two-hour laboratories per week.

Prerequisites: Computer Applications for Technicians (SOET 110), Business Calculus (MATH 150), College Physics II (PHYS 104), Fluid Mechanics (MECH 241), Programming for Engineers (ENGS 102) or permission of instructor.

AREA 321 SOLAR ENERGY UTILIZATION

Fall, 3 credit hours

Solar Energy Utilization is an introductory course on solar energy with an emphasis on thermal processes. Topics include solar radiation, heat transfer, flat-plate collectors, thermal energy storage, and solar thermal applications. Three hours lecture per week.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Thermodynamics (MECH 225) or permission of instructor.

AREA 322 PASSIVE SOLAR BUILDING

Spring, 3 credit hours

Passive Solar Building explores the use of solar energy to passively heat and cool buildings. Topics include solar radiation, building heating and cooling loads, energy efficient design and construction, passive solar heating, proper implementation of thermal mass, and passive cooling. Three hours lecture per week.

Prerequisites: Introduction to Thermodynamics (MECH 225), Energy Systems Technology (ACHP 306), or permission of instructor.

AREA 323 PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS

Fall, 3 credit hours

Photovoltaic Systems examines the direct conversion of solar energy to electricity. Topics include photovoltaic (PV) cell physics, types of PV cells, PV system components, and PV energy storage. Three hours lecture per week.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Thermodynamics (MECH 225) or permission of instructor.

AREA 340 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY

Fall, 3 credit hours

Applications of thermodynamics and heat transfer principles will explain how energy is transformed from geothermal energy to useable energy for large and small scale systems. Students will determine heating and cooling loads leading to the selection of the correct system installation to meet the demand. Correct system sizing and installation procedures will be explored along with the environmental issues related to geothermal energy production.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Thermodynamics (MECH 225) or permission of instructor.

AREA 370 EXPERIMENTATION & MEASUREMENT II

Spring, 3 credit hours

In this laboratory course students will perform engineering measurements to acceptable standards. They will also choose the method of measurement to achieve the accuracy necessary for use in alternative energy experiments. A hands-on approach will furnish practical knowledge of the operation of various alternative energy devices and diagnostic tools. The labs will reflect topics discussed in the AREA electives. Three two-hour laboratories per week.

Prerequisites: Experimentation & Measurement I (AREA 320) or permission of instructor.

AREA 420 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY DESIGN I

Fall, 3 credit hours

Each student team will be required to apply engineering theory in the design of alternative energy systems for residential and commercial buildings. The experience provided in the laboratory projects will allow teams to assess critical factors affecting real applications in alternative energy. Three two-hour laboratories per week.

Prerequisites: Experimentation & Measurement II (AREA 370).

AREA 470 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY DESIGN II

Spring, 3 credit hours

This laboratory is a continuation of AREA 420, Alternative Energy Design I. Student teams will apply design theories to develop alternative energy systems for actual residential or commercial buildings. Using the experience gained from AREA 420, students will go to the site of the proposed alternative energy system to examine the critical factors for design consideration. This course will require periodic interim reports and a final report to be submitted to the instructor and the potential owners of the proposed system. Students will create a complete project design package by the end of the semester. Three two-hour laboratories per week.

Prerequisites: Alternative Energy Design I (AREA 420) or permission of instructor.

AREA 291-295, 391-395, OR 491-495 SPECIAL TOPICS IN ALTERNATIVE AND RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS

Fall/Spring, 1-4 credit hours

An introductory or more advanced exploration of subjects not covered or only partially covered by other courses in alternative & renewable energy systems.