Jan 13th 2014

Energy 101 (Coursera)

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As a society and individually, we use energy every moment of our lives to improve our quality of life. Energy 101 will develop the big picture and connect the details of our energy use, technology, infrastructure, impact, and future.

Energy 101 focuses on the big energy picture giving perspective and context to the details one reads in the daily onslaught of energy news in the headlines. As the number 101 indicates, there are no pre-requisites and no particular training or background needed. The course will review the driving forces of energy used in transportation, building heating and cooling, electrical loads and manufacturing. The current facts and trends of the resulting demands placed on coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, biomass, solar and wind used to meet these energy demands are then covered. The technologies and characteristics of different energy processes and infrastructure used to convert the renewable, fossil, and nuclear energy into the desired form necessary to accomplish a given task are then described. Economics is always a part of the discussion. The natural laws of thermodynamics limiting these processes are described, as well as future technologies and their potential.

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