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PHYS 575, Winter '12
Physics of Renewable* Energy Sources

  Course information
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Registration:
Our course is in the UW course time schedule with two SLNs:
PHYS 575 B =
17623 (for students in the MS program and GNMs)
PHYS 575 C = 17624
(for other UW students)

Online resources:
See below for information about online class sessions.
You can use the Moodle utility to access slides and other course-related information and files:
once registered, you will find a link to the Moodle site on your MyUW home page, the site will be available starting 12/31/2011.
This page should be your first checkpoint, however - I may get behind posting stuff on Moodle!

Textbook required:
(will be available in the U. Bookstore)

Energy Science: Principles, Technologies, and Impacts
John Andrews and Nick Jelley
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0199281122
ISBN-13: 978-0199281121
A reference copy of the book is available in the Physics-Astronomy Reading Room (6th floor, Physics-Astronomy C), on top of the reference bookshelf just outside the Librarian's office.




*
We'll use the term "renewable" loosely (although in principle breeder reactors are "renewable sources"); a more accurate description would be "alternatives to petroleum-based energy sources".

General information
Review of thermodynamics and applications to energy generation and transport; review of fluid mechanics and applications to wind and wave energy sources; electrical power generation and distribution, direct and indirect solar energy conversion; review of nuclear physics and applications to new ideas in nuclear fission power systems, and nuclear fusion power*.

This course will combine lectures with a seminar-discussion format. Specific topics covered may vary to reflect the interests of students.

Class meetings will be Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:00-8:50 pm in PAA A114. We will meet in the classroom on Tuesdays.

However, the Thursday evening meetings will also be offered online. You may attend class from home, work, your favorite wifi hotspot, or any other internet-connected site, using your usual web browsers. Adobe Connect software required is provided by PCE; we will discuss how to connect in class.  Students who prefer to attend in person may join the me in A-114 PAB as usual. However, for a few sessions when I will be out of town (see calendar for dates),  I will attend online myself, and there will be no classroom meeting.

Reports
You will be expected to make 2 brief, informal reports and presentations,  on topics you have chosen to investigate. Best is to propose a topic that is of special interest to you. (see list of suggested topics below for ideas but feel free to propose your own ideas). Reports should be at least a 15 min presentation, or equivalent term paper content, and should go beyond the depth we reach in class on some relevant topic. The 2nd report should be on a separate topic, but may be related to your first topic (eg 1=fission power, 2=fusion power)
  • Submit your proposed topic for Report 1 to me by email on or before January 31, and for Report 2 on or before February 14.  Purpose: to make sure you get started!
  • Report 1 is due February 16, 2012, and Report 2 is due March 6, 2010. Send your .ppt, .doc or .pdf file or equivalent to me by email on or before those dates. We will take time in class on that date to hear student presentations.
Topic suggestions
These are basic, feel very free to invent your own topics:
Tidal power systems in operation (ie, beyond R&D or prototype phase)
Wave power systems in operation
Wind power systems in operation
Unusual solar power systems
Practical biomass energy sources (ie, not requiring subsidies to break even)
New technologies (R&D or proto phase) for photovoltaics
New and proposed (R&D phase) battery technologies
New ideas for fission reactors
Fusion power approaches most likely to yield results
Reality and hype in green energy technology
Public policy initiatives supporting green technology
Public relations problems for renewable resources

Please check again later for further info.

 

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 Last Updated:
12/23/2011

Contact the instructor at: wilkes@u.washington.edu