ECE 333
Green Electric Energy

Section Type Times Days Location Instructor
A LEC 0930 - 1050 T R   1013 ECE Building  George Gross
Web Page
Official Description Electric power grid structure and policy; analysis of wind, solar, and fuels as raw resources; wind turbines and parks; solar cells, modules, arrays and systems; fuel cell power plants; energy and financial performance of green energy projects; integration of green energy into power grid; energy project report and presentation. Course Information: Prerequisite: ECE 205 or ECE 210.
Course Prerequisites Credit in ECE 205 or ECE 210
Course Directors Thomas J Overbye
Detailed Description and Outline


  • Magnetics/Circuits Review
  • Phasors/3-Phase/Power
  • Thermo, Conventional Generation
  • Power Grid
  • Solar Ponds (Guest Lecture)
  • Fuel Cells
  • Regulation
  • Economic Evaluation
  • Solar and Passive Houses (Guest Lecture)
  • Wind Resource and Turbines
  • Photovoltaic Cells (Guest Lecture)
  • Solar Resource
  • Photovoltaic Systems
  • Project Presentations
  • Demand Side Management
  • Markets/Environmental
  • Integration

Grading: The course grade is based on written assignments (15%), quizzes (35%), projects (15%), and the final exam (35%). Teams of students will conduct a final project and present the results to the class.


G. Masters, Renewable and Efficient Electric Power Systems, 2nd Edition, J. Wiley, 2013

Course Goals

The main course goal is to provide students with an overview of renewable electric energy systems. At the conclusion of the class students should have an understanding of renewable technologies such as wind and solar, and understand how these technologies can be utilized both in the existing electric grid and as stand-alone systems.

Instructional Objectives

A. By the time of Exam No. 1 (after approximately 10 ninety minute lectures), the students should be able to do the following:

1. Be able to provide a basic overview of the energy infrastructure both for the US and for the world; students should know the basic sources of energy and how this energy is transported. (c),(h), (i),(j)

2. Understand the concepts of power factor angle, power factor, complex power, and conservation of power; solve basic single phase circuits, basic understanding of harmonics in power systems. (a), (e)

3. Solve simple three-phase circuits to calculate any system voltage, current or power. (a), (e)

4. Apply concepts from basic electromagnetics to understand the operation of transformers; know the standard models for transformers. (a)

5. Provide a basic history of the development of the electric power industry (h), (j)

6. Describe the basic operation of the most commonly traditional electric generation technologies (coal, natural gas, nuclear). (c)

7. Be able to describe the basic operation of an interconnected electric grid, understanding the basics of power flow in such a network (a).

8. Be able to describe the basic operation of electricity markets, understanding their societal impacts. (c), (f), (j)

9. Understand the underlying physics and technologies used to extract energy from the wind. (a), (c), (e).

B. By the time of Exam No. 2 (after approximately 20 lectures), the students should be able to do all the items listed under A, plus the following:

10. Be able to use both actual wind speed measurements or assumed wind speed probability distribution functions to determine the average energy available from a wind site; be able to estimate how wind energy changes with turbine height and ambient temperature. (a), (b), (e) .

11. Understand the basic operation of electric synchronous and induction generators. (a)

12. Be able to describe the societal and environmental impacts associated with wind energy. (f), (h), (j)

13. Be able to formula the power flow problem and be able to develop a solution algorithm using the Newton-Raphson approach. (a)

14. Be able to understand the power flow issues associated with the integration of wind energy systems into an existing electric grid; use power flow software to solve wind integration problems. (a), (e)

15. Understand the physics associated with using the sun as a source of PV energy, including knowing how the energy available from the sun varies by time of year, and time of day. (a)

16. Be able to determine the amount of solar energy available at a particular location including the impacts of clouds, shading and collector tilt. (a), (b)

17. Be able to describe solar thermal technologies, including contemporary issues. (c), (j)

18. Understand and describe the basic physics associated with solar PV systems; be able to describe current PV technologies. (a), (e)

C. By the time of the Final Exam (after approximately 30 lectures), the students should be able to do all the items listed under A and B, plus the following:

19. Be able to describe and solve problems using models of solar PV cells and modules; be able to determine model parameters from test results. (a), (b), (e)

20. Be able to do a simple design of a standalone solar PV system to meet specified energy requirements. (c)

21. Be able to describe and solve problems associated with the operation of dc-dc converters, and apply them to PV maximum power tracking. (a), (e)

22. Be able to describe current energy storage technologies, assessing their relative merits. (a), (j)

23. Understand the basic operation of hydro energy systems, and solve problems associated with the design of these systems. (a), (c)

24. Be able to provide a basic description of the application of bio fuels for electricity generation, including the broader societal impacts. (h)

25. Be able to use energy economics to assess the financial merits of a renewable energy system, including the impacts of interest rates and inflation. (a), (c)

26. Describe electric utility rate structures, including their societal impacts. (c)

27. Write a paper describing a green electric energy technology in a societal context. (c), (g)

28. Understand the professional and ethical responsibilities associated with green electric energy systems. (f)

Last updated: 7/21/2014