10.391J / 1.818J / 2.65J / 11.371J / 22.811J / ESD.166J Sustainable Energy

As taught in: January IAP 2007 - Spring 2007

Energy chart showing sources, interconversion, and uses.

Our sun is a major source of energy; other sources include nuclear fuels and geothermal springs. These sources can be converted into the various types of energy we use: Heat, mechanical work, and electricity. Because the conversion of heat into mechanical work cannot be 100%, some energy is always lost as heat as we use energy for residential power, industrial manufacturing, and transportation. (Image courtesy of MIT OpenCourseWare.)




Dr. Elisabeth Drake

Prof. Frank Incropera

Prof. Jefferson W. Tester

Prof. Michael Golay

Course Features

Course Description

This course assesses current and potential future energy systems, covers resources, extraction, conversion, and end-use, and emphasizes meeting regional and global energy needs in the 21st century in a sustainable manner. Different renewable and conventional energy technologies will be presented including biomass energy, fossil fuels, geothermal energy, nuclear power, wind power, solar energy, hydrogen fuel, and fusion energy and their attributes described within a framework that aids in evaluation and analysis of energy technology systems in the context of political, social, economic, and environmental goals. This course is offered during the last two weeks of the Independent Activities Period (IAP), which is a special 4-week term at MIT that runs from the first week of January until the end of the month, and continues into the Spring semester.

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .zip, .dll, and .exe.