Energy for the World

Discipline: Engineering
Instructor: D’Amato
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1300
End: 1415
Field Work: Day 2 - Cadiz - Sunday, 05 October | Spain
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

Access and use of energy defines the modern industrialized world. Some countries have and use much while other countries lack sufficient quantities for their growth. How is it produced in industrialized nations? How can affordable energy be provided in countries that currently lack the necessary infrastructure? How might it be generated in environmentally safe ways? This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of power generation technologies: fossil fuel-burning power systems, nuclear power, hydropower, tidal power, geothermal power, wind power, ocean wave power, solar power, biomass, and fuel cells. We will also discuss their economic and global environmental impacts. Special emphasis will be placed on the energy resources of the countries we visit on our voyage, e.g. northern Europe is strongly invested in wind power, France in nuclear and Germany recently pledged to abandon nuclear power after the recent Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.

Field Work

Country: Spain
Day: 2 - Cadiz - Sunday, 05 October

The Andalucía area of Spain has tremendous natural resources for renewable energy and is one of the fastest growing sources of wind and solar energy in the world.  The Cadiz area itself has more than 60 wind farms and several solar farms including photovoltaic and solar thermal.  We will see as many examples of renewable energy sources as possible during this field lab and experts will tell us about wind farms, solar photovoltaic and solar thermal farms, solar water heaters, geothermal energy, biomass, hydro, and the research facilities of the University of Cadiz.  We will learn how these energy sources are transferred to the energy infrastructure in and around Spain. A scientific journal will be maintained highlighting observed energy production coupled with analysis established from class studies and also contain a reflection section. A team presentation will highlight observations recorded in this lab and during field assignments. Academic Objectives: The goal of this course is to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the highly complex issues surrounding energy, its availability, costs, environmental impacts, generation technologies and uses on a global basis. Special emphasis will be given to understanding systems in the countries visited on the Fall 2014 Semester at Sea voyage. This goal will be accomplished through three objectives: 1. To understand energy, the  sources of energy presently available and their current usage. 2. To understand the advantages and disadvantages of the various energy resources. 3. To understand the role of the environment, politics, economics, and society on worldwide future energy resources development.