Course Catalog and Offering Information

  • Name of Course: Renewable Energy Utilization
  • Course Number: EEL 5285
  • Schedule and Duration: Thursdays from 6:25 – 9:05 PM
  • Classroom: EC-2410
  • Course Instructor: Professor O. A. Mohammed, Energy Systems Research Laboratory, ECE Department, Florida International University, Office: EC-2441, mohammed@fiu.edu, 305-348-3040, Lab Assistant: Mr. Noureldeen Elsayad (nelsa007@fiu.edu) , EC-3810
  • Office Hours: Thursdays: 4:00 – 5:30 PM

Course Description, Objectives and Outcomes

This course will introduce the student to a wide range of alternative energy technologies, help develop skills useful to the commercial and economic evaluation of alternative energy resources, and examine public policy issues affecting the development of these resources. The concept used for developing this course is that we need to provide practicing engineers and engineering students with knowledge on how:


  • The common conventional and alternative resources and technologies for producing electrical power work and describe the role and the resource it plays in the current energy economy;
  • Define key characteristics of wind power resources, solar power resources, and bioenergy resources and prepare a preliminary commercial assessment for a renewable power project;
  • Compare economic and environmental factors associated with the production, distribution, and use of alternative energy sources to conventional approaches for generating electric power; and, describe key public policies affecting renewable power generation and identify the role played by these policies in shaping the electric power industry.


The course objectives, outcomes and the educational gaps to be addressed include:


  • Understand the basics of how each renewable energy technology works. And how it can be utilized for electric energy production.
  • Distinguish between the main types of renewable energy technology and what each can perform and the process of achieving that.
  • Identify which might be the most appropriate technology for any given scenario
  • Generating electricity from sustainable energy sources and keeping track of key public policies affecting renewable power generation and identify the role played by these policies in shaping the electric power industry and make a payback calculation for each technology.


Course Books and Lecture Materials

  • Gilbert Masters “Renewable and Efficient Electric Power Systems,” John Wiley
  • Lecture Notes by Professor Mohammed
  • Many other readings for the class will be available in the form of articles and online inks on the course webpage located at http://www.aln.fiu.edu/courses.
  • Boyle, Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future (2nd Ed.), Oxford University Press

Tentative Course Topics List (A new one will be handed soon)

A.    Solarpower


o   Photovoltaicpower


o   Solarthermalpower


o   Passivesolar design


o   GeneratingACandDCPowerfromSolarDesigns


o   SolarPowerAssignments,relatedlinks




B.    Wind power


o   WindEnergyHarvesting


o   SingleWindGenerator


o   WindFarms


o   Toolsforanalyzingprojects


o   Windgenerationcharacteristics


o   GeneratingUtility EnergyPower from WindFarms.


o   Windpowerandthetransmissiongrid


C.    Electric power smartgrid basicswith alternateenergy


o   Electric transmission


o   Economicdispatchandpowermarkets


o   Connectingrenewablepowertothegrid


o   Off-gridrenewablepower


D.  Otherpower generation technologies


o   Geothermal


o   Hydropower


o   Nuclearpower


o   Coal, oil,natural gas


o   Electricgenerationandtheenvironment


o   Energystorageandthehydrogeneconomy


o   Fuelcellsandhydrogenutilization


o   EnergyPolicyandPlanning


E.   Publicpolicyand alternative energy supplies


o   The case forpolicyintervention


o   Renewables andelectricpowerrestructuring


o   U.S.greenpowerexperience


o   Feed-in tariffs


o   RenewablePortfolio Standards (RPS)


o   Renewable EnergyCredittrading


Student Assessment

The assessment of the students in thiscoursewillbebasedon expectedlearning outcomes.Studentswillbeexaminedontheir abilityto:




o   Defineandlistcommonconventionalandalternativeresourcesandtechnologiesforproducingelectricalpowerand describetherolethattheseresourceplaysinthecurrentenergyeconomy;


o   Identify key characteristics ofwindpowerresources,solarpower,bioenergyandchemicalresources,


o   Prepare apreliminary commercialassessmentfor arenewablepowerprojectinresidencesand/orcommercialsites;


o   Compareeconomicandenvironmentalfactorsassociatedwiththeproduction,distribution,anduseofalternative energysourcesincomparisontoconventionalapproachesforgeneratingelectricpowerincluding nuclearpower; and,


o   Describekeypublicpoliciesaffectingrenewablepowergenerationand identify theroleplayed bythesepolicies in shapingtheelectricpowerindustry.


o   Studythecombinationofenergyconservationmeasuresalongwiththeutilizationofrenewablesinthepractical operationofelectricenergysystems.


Course Grading

Projects/Homework, and class work 40%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 30%

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