Special Topics in Engineering: Energy Resources

Discipline: Engineering
Instructor: Norris
Credits: 3

Field Class: Costa Rica Download Syllabus

The objectives of this course are: 1) to familiarize students with available energy sources and how they differ with geography, and 2) to impart an appreciation for technical difficulties and attributes of various energy sources, including political and economic issues. This course will provide an overview of energy source technologies- fossil fuels, hydroelectric power, geothermal, ocean thermal energy conversion, thermoelectrics, wind power, nuclear energy, solar power, biomass, and fuel cells. The origin of these resources, their world-wide distribution, advantages, and disadvantages, as well as economic and global environmental concerns will be addressed. Special emphasis will be placed on the energy resources of the countries of our journey.

Field Class

Country: Costa Rica

Students will get a complete overview of the "Waste 2 Energy" project at Mundimar, a subsidiary of Chiquita Brands. A visit to the fruit processing facility, which focuses on bananas and other fruit juices along with dehydrated topical fruits, approaches wastewater management issues with innovative solutions. Here the wastewater management system utilizes anaerobic lagoons in conjunction with a hermetic biogestor. The biogestor yields a biogas byproduct which supplies energy to the plant. All parts of the system, including how the effluents from the biogestor are used as fertilizer, will be discussed. Students will observe many components in this environmentally friendly system that uses no chemicals for wastewater treatment, removes greenhouse gases, uses no electricity for water purification, and produces organic fertilizer.