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ECEN 5555 - Principles of Energy Systems and Devices

Catalog Data ECEN 5555 (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 4555.)
Credits and Design 3 credit hours. Elective course.
Prerequisite(s) ECEN 3810, Introduction to Probability or consent of instructor.
Corequisite(s) PHYS 2130, General Physics 3 or PHYS 2170, Foundations of Modern Physics
Textbook Daniel V. Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics, Addison-Wesley, 2000, ISBN-13 978-0-201-38027-9.
Course Objectives
Topics Covered
  1. Brief introduction to probability theory
  2. Entropy and temperature
    1. Thermal equilibrium
  3. Boltzmann distribution; reversibility
  4. 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
  5. Chemical potential and Gibbs distribution
    1. Batteries
  6. Ideal gas
  7. Heat and work
    1. Carnot efficiency
    2. Engines
    3. Heat pumps and refrigerators
    4. Thermoelectric refrigerators
    5. Fuel cells
  8. Maxwell's demon
    1. Link to information theory
  9. Distribution functions
    1. Fermi-Dirac distribution function
      • Heat capacity
      • Semiconductor statistics
      • Photovoltaics
      • LEDs and lighting (revisited)
    2. Bose-Einstein distribution function
      • Condensates
      • Superconductors
      • Lasers
  10. Selected advanced topics
  11. Independent study project for graduate students

Last revised: 08-02-11, PM, ARP.