Title

The 20 year evolution of an energy conversion course at the United States Military Academy

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Energy Conversion and Management

Publication Date

3-1-2004

Abstract

Over the past several years, an energy conversion course offered by the Mechanical Engineering Program at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, has evolved into a cohesive series of lessons addressing three general topical areas: advanced thermodynamics, advanced mechanical system analysis, and direct energy conversion systems. Mechanical engineering majors enroll in Energy Conversion Systems (ME 472) during the fall semester of their senior year as an advanced elective. ME 472 builds directly on the material covered in Thermodynamics (EM 301) taken during the student's junior year. In the first segment of ME 472, the students study advanced thermodynamic topics including exergy and combustion analyses. The students then analyze various mechanical systems including refrigeration systems, internal combustion engines, boilers, and fossil fuel fired steam and gas turbine combined power plants. Exergetic efficiencies of various equipment and systems are determined. The final portion of the course covers direct energy conversion technology, including fuel cells, photovoltaics, thermoelectricity, thermionics and magnetohydrodynamics. Supplemental lessons on energy storage, semi-conductors and nonreactive energy sources (such as solar collectors, wind turbines, and hydroelectric plants) are included here. This paper discusses the evolution of ME 472 since its inception and explains the motivations for the course's progress. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Volume

45

Issue

4

First Page

495

Last Page

509

DOI

10.1016/S0196-8904(03)00161-4

ISSN

01968904

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