University Partner Curriculum Modules
Dr. William J. Makofske, Professor of Physics
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Course Description (Click here for link to full course description):
An exploration of the conversion and use of energy, with particular emphasis on the nature of energy and energy systems, the use of energy in contemporary society and the development of energy conversion technologies and energy sources. The course will explain the origin and dimensions of the global energy problem and identify how energy issues and policies affect environmental quality, economic growth and global politics. A substantial portion of the course examines conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, with a focus on how these may be incorporated to create a sustainable society.
a. The student will understand the nature of energy, its uses, and its effect on both the individual and society.
b. The student will understand the historical patterns of energy use and the factors that shaped them.
c. The student will have a basic knowledge of natural systems and their laws, the Earth as an interacting system, and the effect of energy use on the environment.
d. The student will be able to apply, quantitatively and qualitatively, the laws of physics to energy conversion technology and energy sources.
e. The student will know the social, economic and political implications of energy production and consumption from a local, regional, national and global perspective.
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Curriculum Module:
Presently, a short lecture on fuel cells, how they work, and some details of the fuel cells at Ramapo College are presented in the Energy and Society class [during the “renewable energy sources and technologies” section]. The material will be expanded to include:
- The various types of fuel cells, their operational characteristics, and the most suitable applications for each.
- An extensive section on the use of fuel cells in automobiles. This would include not only the fuel cells themselves, but also the distributional network for the fuel, and the various methods of producing the hydrogen.
- An additional section on how fuel cells may be integrated into other areas of the society. This would include small power sources for computers as well as home fuel cell systems.
- A summary of the present state of research and development for fuel cells, and what further research and development is needed to bring certain applications on line.
- A bibliography of sources and further reading