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IDS100-06: Renewable and Sustainable Energy (Fall 2009)

Although the official website for this course is on Moodle with guest access, we will post our results here for public viewing.

Course Syllabus for IDS100-06

Local Sustainability Action :

Members of Holland West engage Holland area residents and leaders in order "to educate and advocate for a clean, sustainable energy future for the Macatawa area." We will attend a West meeting on October 13.

The Holland City Council has its very own Sustainability Committee staffed with local academic and business leaders. The Holland Board of Public Works works directly with the committee in the committee's mission to "build upon past local decisions, initiatives and projects and continue to engage in a decision making process and specific projects initiatives which are sensitive to and responsive to this changing world." (from the committee's mission statement)

The Hope College Sustainability Task Force takes an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability, making every aspect of sustainability from world view to lifestyle to technology a part of Hope College's environmental action.

Sustainable enterprises in the area:

An internet article recently revealed a local meat processor, Earl's Meats, who is using sustainable technologies to minimize his electricity bill. We will pay him a visit on October 14.

The East Grand Rapids Community Center has installed solar panels on its roof and maintains a web site with live data feed from the solar power system's output.

Besides having business sustainability standards that have been recognized by the EPA, Holland based Energetx uses its composites manufacturing for the "production of utility-scale wind turbine blades and other wind energy industry composite parts" and recently received a $27.3 million tax credit from the State of Micigan for this enterprise. We will visit Energetx on September 30.

Energy Maps
From class on Sept 2.
These Geographic Information System maps from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory indicate the intensity or productivity potential for various forms of renewable energy.
The Lake Lanier Water Crisis of 07-08
From Class on Sept 4.
What do all these big numbers mean?
Energy fundamentals from “Physics 101”: Kilowatts and Kilowatt-hours
From Class on September 9. I know I'm not supposed to lecture in a seminar course. But you can't have meaningful discussion about energy without knowing what energy is and especially how it is quantified. There are a lot of numbers in this course, and this little "lecture" will equip you to approach those numbers rationally.
Energy Class Discussion from Glennon, Chapter 3. From class on September 16.
Hydroelectricity Class Discussion from W&B, pp. 22-25.
Also included are answers to the discussion questions generated by the class. From Class on September 18.
The environmental impact of dams class discussion from Glennon, Chapter 6 on September 23.

Wind Power Class Discussion from W&B, pp. 14-21. September 25. This discussion was lead by Scott Brandonisio, Austin De Jonge, Curtis Drozd, and Scott Bahash.

Energy fundamentals from “Physics 102”: Solar energy fundamentals
Did it again on October 2. Here are notes from a lecture aimed at giving students a theoretical boost before starting in on solar power.
Energy Audits of our dorm rooms:
We inventoried all personal appliances, lights, computers, and anything else electric in our dorm rooms. From this inventory, a composite freshman dorm room was constructed and the cost of powering up the room was computed. The sum of all electronic items in one room costs $3.01 per week at $0.0863/KWh. This was a snapshot audit of 18 rooms taken in September, 2009.
Solar energy class presentation on Oct 9. An above and beyond presentation made by Sean Cratty, Natalie TenBrink and Alyson Coyne during the class discussion on solar energy.
Geothermal class discussion on Oct 23. Based on W&B pp. 54-60 lead by Recebba Robinett, Andrew Jager and Ryan Core. Included are answers generated by members of the class.
Wave energy and Concentrated Solar Power class discussion on October 28. Also included are answers generated during class discussion.
Biofuels Class Presentation on Nov. 4. Another above and beyond act by Shaelie Harper, Thomas Devries, Jaimie Cromwell and Kelly Petrasky made during the class discussion on biofuels.
Hydrogen Energy Presentation on Nov. 11. Jessica Frey, Gabe Casher, Dan Rispens and Sarah Knack went above and beyond to show us this presentation along with their team lead discussion of the "hydrogen economy."