Engineers are responsible for implementing existing technologies and developing new ones to provide for our future energy needs in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner. This is a global challenge as energy needs continue to grow. Moreover, engineers are at the forefront of technologies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and to mitigate the other impacts of existing and emerging energy systems.
This minor addresses the entire energy cycle from generation, to use, to lasting environmental effects. Students will have access to a brand new renewable energy laboratory equipped with the latest technologies and, in addition to engineering courses, will also study economics and policy to understand the very specific market and political frameworks that dictate many energy decisions.
ECE 498 Electrical Circuits, Power, and Machinery
This courses addresses basic DC and AC circuits, the power triangle, and 3-phase power. It also covers the operation of AC and DC motors, generators, and alternators.
INT 489 Introduction to Renewable Energy Engineering
(Students may substitute EET 498 and one of the following thermodynamics courses: MET 236, MEE 230, MET 433, or CHE 385)
This course addresses: basic thermodynamics; comparing renewable energy sources; energy sources and use across different sectors; feasibility of renewables based on geography; web-based energy databases; renewable energy conversion
Elective Courses (Choose 3):
CHE 498 Combustion and Fuel Processing
This course addresses: combustion processes for biofuels and the impact of efficiency on pollutant emissions; control technologies and regulation requirements; conversion of fossil fuels and biomass; and methods for processing biomaterials into liquid fuels.
CHE 498/598 Lignocellulosic Biorefinery
The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the supply and chemical/physical characteristics of lignocellulosic biomass, as well as of the key techno-economic barriers affecting commercial implementation of lignocellulosic biorefineries. An important focus is the chemistry and engineering aspects of different (pre)treatment processes, including those integrated into existing (kraft and sulfite) pulping operations. Different biochemical and thermochemical conversion processes and their down-stream (catalytic) upgrading and separation operations into liquid fuels, chemicals and biomaterials are reviewed.
ECE 498 Photovoltaic Devices and Systems
This course is concerned with electricity generated directly from the sun using photovoltaic solar cells. The course covers the solar spectrum and the various types of solar cells, while concurrently analyzing the efficiency of various devices and considering new ways to improve PV cells. Additionally, this course addresses PV system design and economic considerations, including life cycle analysis and environmental impacts.
EET 498 Renewable Energy and Electricity Production
Topics include: basic circuit components, load specification, history of electric utilities, distributed generation, the economics of energy, wind generation, and solar generation.
MEE/CIE 480 Wind Energy Engineering
This course presents the theory and design of modern wind turbines. Theoretical aspects of the course cover the fundamentals of assessing the aerodynamic loads and efficiency of a wind turbine. Design procedures for wind turbines are outlined with an emphasis on maximizing performance, assuring structural integrity and minimizing the cost of energy. Current trends in offshore wind are also covered as well as the social and environmental issues of a burgeoning wind energy industry.
Other courses with permission
Courses cannot count as both core requirements and electives