University of California-Riverside, Department of Electrical Engineering


Winter 2010


EE-190: Electrical Energy Systems



Instructor:  Matthew Barth

Office: EBU-II Room 342  or CE-CERT Training Room


Office Hours: TBA


Units:  4,  3 hours lecture, 3 hours outside research


Prerequisites:  none


Catalog Course Description:


The purpose of this course is to critically examine the technology of electrical energy systems that will be acceptable in a world faced with global warming, local pollution, and declining supplies of oil.  The focus is on renewable energy sources (e.g., wind, solar), and possible other non-carbon emitting sources (nuclear) and reduced carbon sources (co-generative gas turbine plants, fuel cells) are also studied.  Individual devices as well as the overall systems are analyzed.




Francis Vanek and Louis Albright, Energy Systems Engineering: Evaluation and Implementation McGraw Hill, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-07-149593-6




other books and miscellaneous lecture notes


Grading: Homework (20%) one midterm (20%), one final (20%), project report (40%).


Homework:  6 assignments


Goals for the Course:


1)     The student will become proficient in engineering calculations of the performance and rudimentary design of various electrical energy conversion systems. 

2)     The student will become familiar with the physics of the environmental issues, including the greenhouse effect and global climate change.

3)     The student will become adept in the comparative analysis of various energy conversion systems.  The comparisons will include cost, social acceptability as well as environmental consequences.


The course will draw on material studied in electrical engineering, physics, and some thermodynamics.  Students will study the basic theory of electrical motors and generators, fuel cells, turbines, photovoltaic devices, etc. and determine component and system efficiencies.  Additionally, along the way, students will become familiar with the relationship between ethical issues and the quality of our environment, and the complex interplay between engineering systems and society, so the course will provide a bridge between engineering and policy.  The emphasis of the course is, however, on application of quantitative engineering techniques to electrical energy systems, as reflected in objectives 1-3.


There is one more goal: in general, the intent is to apply a wide range of engineering skills to a pressing challenge of our time, so one overall goal of the course is to “do something interesting, and have fun.”  I hope we will all succeed in this area.


Term Project: The course will include a term project to give students an opportunity to apply what they have learned to a specific future energy system problem or challenge.  Students will either work alone or in groups and produce a final written report.  Each project team will present their work in a 20 minute presentation at the end of the quarter.