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
ultracapacitors), chemical conversion (fuel cells and engines), solid state
lighting, heat pumps, cooling, and potentially harvesting zeropoint 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,
AddisonWesley, 2000, ISBN13 9780201380279. 
 

Course Objectives 
For students to:
 Understand the thermodynamic principles underlying electronic, optical,
and thermal devices, materials and nanostructures for renewable energy.
 Have a practical foundation for working with renewable energy technology
in the 21st century.
 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:
 Heat and work, including efficieny limits
for heat engines, chemical processes, and photovoltaics.
 Entropy and equlibrium, including
the thermodynamic definition and the statistical mechanics definition.
 Distribution functions to physical systems,
including Boltzmann, Gibbs, FermiDirac, and BoseEinstein distributions.

Student Outcomes Addressed 
3a 
3b 
3c 
3d 
3e 
3f 
3g1 
3g2 
3h 
3i 
3j 
3k 
Math /Sci 
Exper iments 
Design 
Teams 
Engr Problems 
Respon sibility 
Oral 
Written 
Engr Solns Impact 
LL Learning 
Contem porary 
Tools 
H 



L 





L 


Topics Covered 
 Summary of questions that the course will answer
 Brief introduction to probability theory
 Entropy and temperature, thermal equilibrium
 Boltzmann distribution, reversibility
 Thermal radiation and Planck distribution
 Solar spectrum and photovoltaics limits
 Emissivity and absorptivity of surfaces
 Radiant lighting (incandescent, fluorescent, LED)
 Radiant heating
 Greenhouse effect
 Chemical potential and Gibbs distribution, batteries
 Ideal gas
 Heat and work
 Carnot efficiency
 Engines
 Heat pumps and refrigerators
 Thermoelectric refrigerators
 Fuel cells
 Maxwell's demon, link to information theory
 Distribution functions
 FermiDirac distribution function
 Heat capacity
 Semiconductor statistics
 Photovoltaics
 LEDs and lighting (revisited)
 BoseEinstein distribution function
 Condensates
 Superconductors
 Lasers
