(145h) Laboratory and Design Projects in Energy Sustainability Based on Industrial Operations and Data (Power Plants, Sugar Mills, Pilot Plants)

Dooley, K. M., Louisiana State University
Knopf, F. C., Louisiana State University
Lee, J., Louisiana State University
The goal of this educational project is to promote concepts of Energy Sustainability throughout the Chemical, Mechanical and Biological Engineering curricula, in the form of class projects large and small, and remote laboratories. This “Energy Sustainability Remote Laboratory (ESRL)” is housed at http://www.esrl.lsu.edu/, with a variety of learning materials available to any faculty or student wishing to use them. There is both a secure (faculty only) area and a public area. To date there are 15 large-scale modules for the study of energy efficiency and production. Several of these are based on data (some real-time, some archived) from a cogeneration power plant that produces ~20 MW of electricity and 90,000 lb/hr steam. Others are based on operating data from various sugar mills, a nuclear plant, a solar photovoltaic facility, and a crystallization pilot plant.

The modules/projects are appropriate to classes ranging from the early Soph. to late Sr. year. Many can be seamlessly used in the 2-4 week cycle of a typical engineering laboratory course, and even more can be used in lecture-based courses from the Soph. to Senior level, in some cases in as little as 1-3 class periods, as assignments or projects. Several suggested assignments of varying duration are provided, with solutions, in the secure area. Ten faculty at five universities have adapted the modules for use in several classes (Thermo, Intro Mass and Energy Balances, Process Dynamics, Jr. and Sr. Labs, Heat and Mass Transfer), yielding valuable student and faculty feedback. More than 500 students have been affected to date.