ECEN 4555/5555 – Principles of Energy Systems & Devices

Fall 2016 – MWF 3:00 – 3:50 pm, ECCS 1B28

Professor G. Moddel

Please check the announcements and schedule regularly – Last update: 18 Dec 2016


  • The final exam solution is posted below. Please pick up your graded exam from the front desk of the ECEE office.
  • In addition to being streamed in real time, the class lectures are recorded and can be watched on D2L. For information on how to access the recordings, see these instructions.



General Course Information



Individual issues


Final exam solution

   4555  mean/median –68/69

   5555 mean/median – 88/85







Aug 22

General introduction

Reading: Air-powered car and here and  here

Aug 24  Gas compression

Reading: Ch. 1

Aug 26  Heat capacity


Aug 29  Enthalpy and thermal conductivity

HW1 due

Aug 31  Statistical approach

Reading:  Ch. 2

Sep 2  Elements of quantum mechanics

Reading: Appendix A


Sep 5

Labor day. No class.

Sep 7  Never

HW2 due

Sep 9  Defining entropy

Reading: Maxwell’s Demon


Sep 12 Temperature

Reading: Ch. 3

HW3 due

Sep 14  Chemical potential & pressure

Sep 16  Gas expansion

steam engine


Sep 19

Reading: Ch. 4  Carnot cycle

HW4 due

Sep 21  Internal combustion engines

Sep 23  Refrigerators


Sep 26

Absorption refrigerator

HW5 due

Sep 28  Joule-Thomson coefficient

Sep 30   Electrolysis & fuel cells

Reading: 5.1-5.2 Chemical thermodynamics; fuel cell power pack


Oct 3

Reading (skim to understand main issues and types of storage);

Batteries & electrochemical capacitors

HW6 due

Oct 5

A better lithium-ion battery  more here

Oct 7

Reading: 5.3 through p. 179 Phase transformations

Power from osmosis


Oct 10

Optional reading: Structure of water versus this

If intrigued, watch this
HW7 due

Oct 12  Coexistence

Oct 14  Rain

Reading: Gaia and cloud seeding


Oct 17

Midterm Exam  Covers material through HW7

Formula sheet that will be handed out is here

Oct 20  Boltzmann factor

Reading: Ch. 6 (can omit pp. 232-241) Boltzmann factor and the

 partition function

Oct 21  Partition function


Oct 24
HW8 due

Oct 26

Reading: Ch. 7.1-7.2 Gibbs factor & distribution functions

Oct 28


Oct 31  Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein distributions

HW9 due

Nov 2  Degenerate Fermi gas

Reading: Ch. 7.3 (can omit pp. 283-284) Electrons in solids

Nov 4  Density of states


Nov 7  Semiconductor statistics

Required reading (in reading, tau = kT)

HW10 due

Nov 9

Nov 11


Nov 14

HW11 due                               

Nov 16

Reading: Ch. 7.4 Blackbody radiation

Nov 18

Optional reading: Fractional bandwidth normalizaation


Nov 21

Fall break. No class.

Nov 23

Fall break. No class.

Nov 25

Thanksgiving. No class.


Nov 28  Radiation entropy & pressure; arrow of time

HW12 due

Nov 30  Radiation flux, detailed balance

The origin of color

Dec 2  Greenhouse effect

Optional reading: Harvesting radiant energy from

the Earth


Dec 5  Psi and thermodynamics

Optional readings: Stock market prediction

Entropy & retrocausation

HW13 due

Dec 7  

Optional reading:  Zero-point energy extraction 

     non-technical article    full paper

Also video: New Energy Technologies: What Can We Believe?

Dec 9

Dualism in physical law


Dec 14 (Wednesday) 

Final exam: 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm