ECEN 5407: Renewable Energy and the Future Power Grid

As the amount of wind and solar power capacity has rapidly increased in the past few years, variable renewable energy has started to play an increasing role in power system operations and planning. This graduate course begins with an introduction to the power grid including planning and operations at the transmission and distribution levels. The course focus reflects that while many of the solutions to the integration of variable generation are technical in nature, policy and economics play a large role in the changes that are occurring within the power system. After examining the technological specifications of the most important variable generation sources (wind power, solar photovoltaics, and solar thermal power), as well as traditional power generation sources, other aspects of power system planning and operations in the future power grid are examined in detail. From the bulk power system level, the unit commitment and economic dispatch process is thoroughly covered, with exercises that emphasize how it can change based on new variable generation. The idea of flexibility in bulk power system operations is stressed as a key concept in renewable integration, and various sources of flexibility will be introduced: including electrical storage, balancing area cooperation, variable generation forecasting, stochastic unit commitment, and demand response. Distribution planning with high penetrations is also featured, including: PV hosting capacity studies, interconnection requirements, changing system operations in high renewable energy futures, and microgrids for reliability and resiliency. All of these concepts are explored in great detail and reinforced through the completion of a semester long project, where students solve emerging power system problems in interdisciplinary groups.

ECEN 2250: Introduction to Circuits and Electronics

The purpose of this course is to introduce the analysis and design of linear circuits, which serve as a foundation for much of the rest of the Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering B.S. curriculum. A circuit is an interconnection of electrical devices. A signal is a time- varying electrical entity. Circuits play a central role in a large number of fields, from communications to electrical power transmission and distribution. This course will introduce the modeling, analysis, and design of circuits and electronics, using device models for sources, resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, and transistors. This will include some of the most basic vocabulary, tools, and problem-solving techniques used throughout the ECEN curriculum. The course will also provide context as to the types of careers that are available for electrical and computer engineers and how the profession serves societal needs.