Sustainable Energy Concentration

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is a term that has been defined in various ways. However, sustainable development generally refers to using resources in a way that allows development and does not prevent future generations from doing so. The three areas that are usually examined in the context of sustainability are the social, environmental, and economic impacts of a technology, policy, etc. The two following diagrams each depict these areas, where the top diagram points to the goal of true sustainability being the intersection of the three areas while the bottom diagram emphasizes that ultimately the economy is part of society which is part of the environment.

Sustainability Shown as Overlap of the 3 Areas of Impact


Venn Diagram Showing the Relationship of the 3 Areas of Impact


What is sustainable energy conversion?

Energy conversions occur everywhere, at large and small scales. It occurs from a variety of sources, some of which are readily available and quickly replenished/renewed (e.g. biomass, solar, etc.) while others have taken thousands or millions or years to become the form they currently are (e.g. coal, oil, and natural gas). Sustainable conversion tries to use renewable energy sources in ways that have minimal environmental (and societal) impacts.

Cloverland Electric Hydro Plant, Downtown Sault Ste. Marie, MI


Student-Led IEEE Solar PhotoVoltaic-Wind Hybrid System for LSSU Bus Stop

Solar PhotoVoltaic Arrays in Sault Ste. Marie, ON (Part of 60 MW Installation)


How can I learn more about sustainable energy conversion?

The Sustainable Energy Concentration was setup here at LSSU to provide students experience and foundational theory in this area. The region has unique set of energy assets in the 36 MW Cloverland Electric hydro plant (see 1st picture above) on the St. Mary’s river (as well as the Clergue and Corps of Engineers’ hydro facilities as well), the 60 MW of solar farms (see 3rd picture above) recently installed in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, the 189 Prince Wind Farm, the Essar Steel cogeneration plant, and numerous others. The campus also has a number of smaller-scale renewable energy projects such as IEEE bus stop wind-solar hybrid system (see 2nd picture above) a series of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) and building applied photovoltaic (BAPV) systems sponsored by 3M (see picture below) that have utilized 3M Brand Cool Mirror and 3M Brand Prestige Films.

2013-2014 LSSU Senior Projects Team Solar Film Innovations (SFI) at Solar Testing Shed with Building Applied PhotoVoltaic (BAPV) Systems, Sponsored by 3M (Utilizing 3M Brand Prestige Window Films

Sustainable Energy Concentration

The Sustainable Energy Concentration designation is currently available to Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering majors. Classes from the list in this section may also count as technical electives for other engineering majors–please see the engineering degree information under the area that interests you at the LSSU Engineering & Technology webpage for more information.

Potential jobs include:

  • Designing and operating the controls of a traditional electrical utility and/or micro-grid.
  • Designing and testing the nacelle of a wind turbine as it optimally tracks the wind.
  • Designing and testing the energy system of an electric car.

The following courses are currently part of the sustainable energy concentration:

EGEE 330 – Electro-Mechanical SystemsEE Core Requirement, CE Technical Elective Option

A study of three phase circuits, electro-mechanical energy conversion, transformers, AC and DC machines, motor drives, and controlled converters. The laboratory activities include planning and conducting tests of electrical machines, and simulation with physical modeling software. Prerequisite: EGEE210 with a C or better grade, EGNR140, and MATH152. (3 lecture hours, 3 lab hours) 4 credits

EGEE 411 – Power Distribution/Transmission

EE Tech Elective Requirement, CE Tech Elective Option

This course provides an introduction to the analysis and design of systems that carry electrical power from the point of generation to the point of use. Topics include mathematics and techniques of power flow analysis, ground-fault analysis, transient stability analysis, analysis of large power system networks, and the use of power system simulation software. Prerequisites: MATH152, EGEE210, and EGEE280. (3 lecture hours, 0 lab hours) 3 credits

EGEE 475 – Power Electronics

EE Core Requirement, CE Technical Elective Option

This course provides an introduction to electrical power processing. The general topics include various electronic power switching circuits including: AC-DC rectifiers, DC-DC converters and DC-AC inverters. Additional topics include applications of power switching circuits as well as characteristics of power semiconductor devices. Prerequisites: EGEE280, EGEE370, and MATH251. (3 lecture hours, 3 lab hours) 4 credits

EGNR 261 – Energy Systems/Sustainability

CE & EE Tech Elective Requirement (Lecture & Lab)

The course provides an introduction to energy conversion systems and discusses issues related to the sustainability of each system. Topics include basic energy definitions, traditional energy resources and reasons for pursuing alternative energy resources, renewable and nonrenewable energy resources, energy storage, and electrical grid integration. Topics also include policy as well as social, economic, and environmental sustainability issues as they relate to energy conversion. Prerequisite: MATH102 or equivalent. (3 lecture hours, 0 lab hours) 3 credits

EGNR 361 – Energy Systems/Sustainability Lab (0 lecture hours, 3 lab hours) 1 credit

EGNR 362 – Vehicle Energy SystemsCE & EE Technical Elective Option

An introduction to vehicle power train energy systems and both battery and fuel cell electric/hybrid systems. Other topics include vehicle drive profile calculations, torque and speed coupling, and safety considerations. Vehicle topics also include cars, trucks, and off-road hybrid systems. Laboratory activities include CAN and other communication and information systems, and vehicle performance analysis and simulations using Excel. Simulink, and CANoe. Lab activities include using the chassis vehicle dynamometer with external instrumentation, CAN and OBD-based data acquisition. Prerequisites: (PHYS221 or PHYS231), (EGEE210 or EGET110) and pre/corequisite: EGNR265. (2 lecture hours, 3 lab hours) 3 credits

EGME 337 – ThermodynamicsEE Technical Elective Option

A study of the theory and applications of thermodynamics. Topics covered include: thermodynamic properties, heat, work, First and Second Laws of thermodynamics, entropy, power and refrigeration cycles, gas mixtures, and an introduction to transport theory. Prerequisites: MATH152, or MATH112 and EGMT332. (4 lecture hours, 0 lab hours) 4 credits

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