Renewable Energy Curriculum Development

Mount wachusett Community College received funding from the National Science Foundation, Advanced Technological Education Program to investigate the development of courses to train technicians in the field of biomass energy technology. After a year of research, it became apparant that we needed to broaden our focus to include all renewable energy technologies. Following guidelines established by The Partnership for Environmental Technology Education (PETE) our ultimate goal is to establish a full curriculum for students interested in an energy service career.

The following courses have been developed and are offered to Mount Wachusett Community College students:

Renewable Energy Sources

This course provides a comprehensive overview of renewable energies, including solar energy, wind power, hydropower, fuel cells, biomass, and alternative transportation options.  Students will learn the principles of solar home design, solar hot water, pool and space heating and solar cooling for both new and existing construction.  Students will learn how to assess the viability of a wind power, hydropower or biomass system for a given site.  Students will also learn about the impact of government regulations on the use of renewable energies.  Students will analyze these renewable energy systems and will calculate savings fractions, backup energy needs, financing options, and economic analyses.  The student will investigate the potentials of renewable energy technologies to help solve environmental and economic problems within society.

Introduction to Energy Management Principles

This course introduces the principles of energy management and provides an overview of the energy industry.  Students will learn about the history of energy production and costs, the dynamics of worldwide energy consumption and growth, the principle methods by which energy is used, and its environmental and financial impacts and consequences.  Objectives and components of an effective energy management program are discussed.  This course is designed for students who are not vocationally oriented but are interested in energy usage.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation

The student will identify and explain all of the energy efficiency/conservation methods available for energy use reduction.  Energy-consuming facilities, both domestic and commercial, will be analyzed by the students for energy efficiency opportunities.  The student will calculate energy savings and environmental impacts for most energy efficiency methods in order to identify and assess energy conservation opportunities.  In addition, the student will demonstrate the appropriate usage of energy monitoring and measuring equipment commonly used by energy specialists and energy auditors.