Sustainable Energy Related Courses
This course helps students identify and solve mechanical engineering problems, specifically the case on how to optimize the power harvesting from wind. It is designed for students who have completed an introductory course on classical thermodynamics, and wish to gain a better understanding of the fundamental laws and relations in thermodynamics and their applications. The course will expand students’ knowledge and interest into energy system analysis and optimization, multi-component multi-phase systems, real gas behavior, and chemical reactions. It will also prepare students to use thermodynamic principles and energy and exergy analyses in professional practice.
Introduction to classical fluid mechanics. Derivation and development of the differential forms of mass, momentum and energy transport. Topics to be covered include: Laminar and turbulent boundary layers, dimension/scaling analysis, vorticity dynamics and an introduction to turbulence. Emphasis is placed on the physical interpretation of mathematical models and interpretation of experimental data in the context of the governing equations. Meets with ME EN 5700. See ME EN 5700 prerequisites for expected undergraduate coursework.
Engineering of energy collection and production systems that satisfy long-term energy needs while minimizing damage to the earth’s ecosystem. Conversion of chemical and nuclear fuels to produce work or electrical energy. Solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, co-generation and direct energy conversion. Conservation, seasonal underground energy storage, and hydrogen production technologies. Meets with ME EN 6800.
Design of steam-power plants, feed-water heater systems, pumping systems, compressor blades, turbine blades, and heat exchangers. Equation fitting and economic analysis as basis of design decisions. Optimization of thermal systems using Lagrange multipliers, search methods, dynamic programming, geometric programming, and linear programming. Probabilistic approaches to design. Meets with ME EN 6810.
Principles of design of systems for heating and cooling of buildings. Heat-load calculations, psychrometrics, thermodynamic systems, and solar-energy concepts. Meets with ME EN 6820.
Mathematical modeling and simulation of building energy systems and power generation units; Energy efficiency improvements and calculation of primary energy consumption; Basic engineering economics applied to the energy sector; Quantification of environmental impacts associated with energy production and consumption: emissions and water consumption; Systems theory and sensitivity analysis applied to the modeling of distributed energy systems
Introduction to AC power generation, distribution, and use. Topics will include single-phase and 3-phase power, power factors and corrections, transformers, power distribution and the grid, generation plants, and some wiring and AC motors.
Advanced level heat transfer (conduction, radiation, convection), phase change, finite element analysis of heat transfer.
Contemporary problems in Mechanical Engineering. Traditional macroscale thermal science is based on classical equilibrium and continuum assumptions. These assumptions break down at the molecular and atomic length scales, and the classical theories, such as Fourier’s law for heat conduction or Planck’s blackbody distribution for radiation, are no longer applicable at micro/nanoscale. With the major progress over the past two decades in controlling matter at the nanoscale, nanotechnology is becoming an integral part of almost all engineering disciplines. This course will provide a self-contained overview of thermal transport and thermophysical properties at the nanoscale, and will introduce the elements of quantum mechanics, solid state physics, statistical thermodynamics and fluctuational electrodynamics necessary to understand these phenomena.
Solar energy conversion, environmental considerations including greenhouse gasses, solar photovoltaic conversion, thermal photovolataic energy conversion, solar thermal energy collection, passive solar heating and lighting.
Introduction to environmental fluid mechanics focusing primarily on micro meteorological processes occurring in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). Covers: surface energy budget, basic thermodynamics relationships, basic equations of motion & energy, including important simplifications relating to rotating & atmospheric stability turbulence in the ADL (including basic statistics and spectral analysis (ABL similarity theory and dispersion processes. Projects involve utilizing real atmospheric boundary layer data sets.
Siting of wind turbines, regional wind resource assessment, and short-term prediction of the wind resource. Aspects of boundary layer meteorology important for wind energy: wind profiles and shear, turbulence and gusts, and extreme winds. Wind climate analysis, wind resource estimation and siting, and their relation to local topography and surface features. Meteorological models used for estimation and prediction of the wind: their types, inputs, limitations, and requirements.
Course will examine the physics and engineering of photovoltaic devices and the materials used in them. Classroom time will be augmented by labs in which students will fabricate the test simple Si solar cells using the University of Utah Nanofab.
This course will introduce the power electronics basis and its applications. Students will learn about dc-dc converters dc-ac inverters, solid state power devices, and applications of power electronics in renewable energy area. In present days, power electronics is an extremely demanding field especially for the development of plug-in hybrid vehicles and renewable energy harvesting. Therefore, this course should be considered as a gateway to many other courses in power engineering.
* Under review by Curriculum committee