2016 Interdisciplinary principles of energy devices 2

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Energy Science and Engineering
Yamada Akira  Kitamura Fusao  Waki Keiko  Wada Hiroyuki  Kanno Ryoji  Hirayama Masaaki 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue3-4(W241, G115(,G111))  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

There are various types of energy such as heat, chemical, electrical and nuclear energy and so on, and present human society is built upon the technologies of transportation and the usage of electrical energy. Therefore, we should convert from primary energy to electrical energy using various energy conversion devices to supply society. Energy conversion devices such as electrical generators using thermal energy, heat pumps, electrical generators using nuclear power, fuel cells, solar cells, light emitting devices, and batteries allow us to supply electrical power on demand as well as to store energy. The conversion efficiency of these devices is governed not only by thermodynamics but also by many technical limitations. Therefore, understanding the energy conversion devices is of great importance in order to create a sustainable society from the viewpoint of energy supply. Students learn the basics of energy devices including fundamental operating mechanisms, advantages and disadvantages of technology, and state-of-the-art devices through Interdisciplinary Principles of Energy Devices 1 and 2. This course focuses on photoelectric conversion (light energy/electrical energy) and chemical energy/electrical energy. Operating principles and features of fuel cells, solar cells, light emitting devices, and batteries will be explained. Working mechanisms of these energy conversion devices facilitate students’ understanding of photoelectric conversion and electrochemistry as well as related technologies.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Explain the basics of fuel cells.
2. Explain the basics of solar cells.
3. Explain the basics of light emitting devices.
4. Explain the basics of batteries.
5. Explain the similarities and differences among these devices.


fuel cells, solar cells, light emitting devices, batteries

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

After the guidance of this course, each device will be explained in one or two classes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Outline of energy conversion devices, relationship between theoretical efficiencies, temperature, and materials in fuel cells Explain the outline of energy conversion devices and theoretical efficiencies of fuel cells
Class 2 Theoretical electromotive force of fuel cells with different kinds of electrolyte, calculating methods and loss factors of conversion efficiency, solid oxide fuel cells with steam reforming Explain the basics and principles of fuel cells and theoretical efficiency of solid oxide fuel cells with steam reforming
Class 3 Electrode reactions in various type of fuel cells, energy conversion efficiencies based on LHV and HHV, polymer electrolyte fuel cells and proton conductive membranes Explain the types of fuel cells and features of polymer electrolyte fuel cells
Class 4 Basics of solar cells Explain the operating principles of solar cells.
Class 5 State-of-the-art solar cell technologies Explain the technologies used for high efficiency solar cells.
Class 6 Basics of light emitting devices Explain the basics of light emitting devices.
Class 7 Basics of batteries Explain the basics of batteries.
Class 8 Summary of this course Explain the important points of each topic.


There is no textbook. Materials will be distributed as needed.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Reference books will be shown if needed.

Assessment criteria and methods

Evaluation will be based on the term end examination and the quiz which is assigned during class.

Related courses

  • ENR.A403 : Interdisciplinary principles of energy devices 1
  • ENR.A401 : Interdisciplinary scientific principles of energy 1
  • ENR.A402 : Interdisciplinary scientific principles of energy 2
  • ENR.A405 : Interdisciplinary Energy Materials Science 1
  • ENR.A406 : Interdisciplinary Energy Materials Science 2
  • ENR.A407 : Energy system theory
  • ENR.B431 : Recent technologies of fuel cells, solar cells butteries and energy system

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites.

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