ECE 4364 Alternate Energy Systems | ECE | Virginia Tech

Undergraduate PROGRAMS

Course Information


Electric energy from alternative energy sources including solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal and ocean. Characteristics of direct conversion, electromechanical conversion, and storage devices used in alternative energy systems. Power system issues associated with integration of small scale energy sources into the electricity grid.

Why take this course?

Alternate sources of energy are a reality now. Large numbers of wind turbine generators, solar thermal and photovoltaic, and hydroelectric power plants are delivering power in both stand-alone and grid-connected modes in the US and many countries in the world. On the other hand, research and development work are underway at different universities, national laboratories and private organizations to perfect the energy conversion and delivery process from various other alternative energy sources. This course stresses the need for understanding the energy Conversion process, economics, supply and reliability of alternate energy sources along with their integration into the electric power system grid. Various design tools for analyzing alternate energy sources will be taught using microcomputer models.

Learning Objectives

  • explain the role of alternate energy sources in the supply of electrical power
  • analyze and design alternative energy systems
  • statistically analyze the long-term capacity credit of energy sources
  • perform cost-benefit analysis of alternate energy systems

Course Topics


Percentage of Course

Alternate sources of generation 5%
Wind energy 15%
Solar energy 15%
Tidal energy 5%
Geothermal energy 5%
Hydroelectric energy 5%
Non-conventional hydropower 10%
Storage systems 10%
Fuel cell 10%
Hybrid systems 10%
Life-cycle costing 10%