ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ENERGY TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course deals comprehensively with issues related to energy transformation processes and their impact on the environment. In particular, sustainability is considered with reference to several aspects: energy use, renewable energy, energy transformations, use of fossil fuels in combustion processes for heating and primary engines.
Knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course the student will be able to know the main aspects and issues related to world energy consumption and to the main types of energy with reference to energy generation and utilization processes taking account of renewable and/or not renewable energy sources, engine plants, final use of energy. He/she will also acquire the basics of the concept of efficiency in energy conversion processes. Therefore he/she will have a rough idea of problems, advantages and disadvantages of the different solutions used or proposed nowadays for energy generation and use.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
The student will be able to make general considerations on operating characteristics, performance and pollutant emissions of power plants used for energy generation from primary sources. He/she must also be able to compare qualitatively different solutions for the generation of energy from primary sources.
The student will have the tools and knowledge necessary to carry out critical investigations on energy conversion processes and solutions for the generation and use of energy.
The student must have the necessary tools to effectively present evaluations and comparisons of different solutions for the realization of specific processes for energy generation through both graphic and numerical representations concerning the characterization of energy and environmental alternatives.
The student will be able, starting from the basic knowledge given in the course, to acquire by himself the information, features, data that can be useful to know the main characteristics of systems and solutions used and/or proposed for energy generation and use.
Attendance to the course requires knowledge provided by the courses of Physics and Chemistry.
Course contents summary
General aspects. The planet energy balance: natural and anthropogenic contributions. Energy sustainability: generation and use of Renewable Energy Sources. World energy consumption and primary energy sources. Fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. Technologies for the use of renewable sources. Biomass: availability and characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. Hydropower, solar and wind power.
Power plants: processes of energy conversion and use, specific fuel consumption and specific emissions of pollutants. Combustion processes: introduction to reactions, fuels and formation mechanisms of pollutants. Short description of steam plants, gas turbines and internal combustion engines: emissions from stationary and mobile applications and techniques for their reduction.
M.Bianchi, A.De Pascale, A.Gambarotta, A.Peretto – “Sistemi energetici - Impatto ambientale” - vol.3, pp.1-544, ISBN 88-371-1754-X, Pitagora Editrice, Bologna, 2008.R.Vismara, "Ecologia Applicata", Hoepli, 1992M.L. Davis, D.A.Cornwell, "Introduction to Environmental Engineering", McGraw-Hill Int.Ed., 1991P.A.Vesilind, J.J.Peirce, R.Weiner
"Environmental Engineering", Butterworth Publishers, 1988
Lectures will be focused on the basics for the study of conversion processes and energy use from primary energy sources. As part of the course some numerical examples will be also presented, intended to allow the student to become familiar with the unit of measurement used to assess the operational characteristics of the systems used for the generation and use of energy.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment of learning is accomplished through oral interview during which through questions on the topics covered in the course will be evaluated in particular the critical capacity, property exposure and the ability to relate the topics covered.
Attendance to the course lectures is highly recommended.