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E580/ME514: Sustainable Energy

A guide to Stevens Library resources that are recommended for E580/ME514

Welcome to the Sustainable Energy Course Guide

Course Objectives

Topics in this course include current and potential future energy systems, fuel resources, conversion of resources, and end-use, and emphasis on meeting local and global energy needs in the 21st century in a sustainable manner. Special attention will be given to the current global energy situation which places great focus on fossil fuels. Various renewable and conventional energy technologies will be presented including nuclear, wind, solar, and hydrogen, and their attributes described within a framework that aids in evaluation and analysis of energy technology systems in the context of political, social, economic, and environmental goals. Systems engineering and economic tools will be presented which are critical for the evaluation of competing energy approaches.

The overall objectives for the course are as follows:

  1. The student will be able to assess the performance and basic design of various energy conversion systems including traditional (combustion and nuclear) and alternative (solar, wind, hydrogen, etc) approaches.
  2. The student will become familiar with the basic physics and chemistry of environmental issues related to the greenhouse effect and global climate change.
  3. The student will perform comparative analysis of various energy conversion systems. The main criteria used for comparison include economic, social acceptability and environmental consequences.

The emphasis is placed on application of quantitative engineering techniques to energy systems, as reflected in objectives 1-3 above. Accordingly, the course will draw on basic material studied in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer and simple electronic theory. Along the way, students will be exposed to the relationships between energy systems and society and the related economic, environmental, ethical, policy and other issues.