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ECEN 4555 - Principles of Energy Systems and Devices

Catalog Data ECEN 4555 (3). Principles of Energy Systems and Devices. Develops principles underlying electronic, optical and thermal devices, materials and nanostructures for renewable energy. Course provides a foundation in statistical thermodynamics, and uses it to analyze the operation and efficiency limits of devices for photovoltaics, energy storage (batteries and ultra-capacitors), chemical conversion (fuel cells and engines), solid state lighting, heat pumps, cooling, and potentially harvesting zero-point energy from the vacuum.
(Meets with ECEN 5555.)
Credits and Design 3 credit hours. Selected elective course.
Prerequisite(s) ECEN 3810, Introduction to Probability Theory or consent of instructor.
Corequisite(s) PHYS 2130, General Physics 3 or PHYS 2170, Foundations of Modern Physics
Instructor(s) Garret Moddel.
Textbook Daniel V. Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics, Addison-Wesley, 2000, ISBN-13 978-0-201-38027-9.
Course Objectives For students to:
  1. Understand the thermodynamic principles underlying electronic, optical, and thermal devices, materials and nanostructures for renewable energy.
  2. Have a practical foundation for working with renewable energy technology in the 21st century.
  3. Understand concepts and efficiency limits for a wide range of energy conversion processes.
Learning Outcomes After taking this course students will be able to recognize and use the following concepts, ideas, and/or tools:
  1. Heat and work, including efficieny limits for heat engines, chemical processes, and photovoltaics.
  2. Entropy and equlibrium, including the thermodynamic definition and the statistical mechanics definition.
  3. Distribution functions to physical systems, including Boltzmann, Gibbs, Fermi-Dirac, and Bose-Einstein distributions.
Student Outcomes
3a 3b 3c 3d 3e 3f 3g1 3g2 3h 3i 3j 3k
Design Teams Engr
Oral Written Engr Solns
H       L           L  
Topics Covered
  1. Summary of questions that the course will answer
  2. Brief introduction to probability theory
  3. Entropy and temperature, thermal equilibrium
  4. Boltzmann distribution, reversibility
  5. Thermal radiation and Planck distribution
    1. Solar spectrum and photovoltaics limits
    2. Emissivity and absorptivity of surfaces
    3. Radiant lighting (incandescent, fluorescent, LED)
    4. Radiant heating
    5. Greenhouse effect
  6. Chemical potential and Gibbs distribution, batteries
  7. Ideal gas
  8. Heat and work
    1. Carnot efficiency
    2. Engines
    3. Heat pumps and refrigerators
    4. Thermoelectric refrigerators
    5. Fuel cells
  9. Maxwell's demon, link to information theory
  10. Distribution functions
    1. Fermi-Dirac distribution function
      1. Heat capacity
      2. Semiconductor statistics
      3. Photovoltaics
      4. LEDs and lighting (revisited)
    2. Bose-Einstein distribution function
      1. Condensates
      2. Superconductors
      3. Lasers

Last revised: 05-20-11, PM, ARP.