Friday, August 19, 2011

Energy Safari: The Class, the Field Trip, the Blog

Energy Education at ILEAD

Dr. Robert Hargraves and I have both taught energy classes at Dartmouth ILEAD. He gave an amazing course in Rethinking Nuclear Power, and I gave a course on pollution control for coal, All Around the Coal Boiler. In both our courses, actually visiting a power plant was a very important part of the course. Seeing is believing. Seeing is understanding. There's only so much a teaching that can be done with PowerPoint.

This fall we are teaming up for a super-duper-once-in-a-lifetime (probably) course on all sorts of energy, including energy efficiency.

It is ......Energy Safari!

During this course, the group will visit most major types of power plants. We will visit a solar installation, the Lempster wind farm, a wood-fired plant, an LEED (efficient) building, a hydro plant, a nuclear plant, a coal plant and a combined-cycle gas turbine. Whew! That is a LOT of information about energy. Most people (including people in the power industry) never get to see so many types of power plants.

We are very lucky, and very grateful to our hosts:
  • AllEarth Renewables (solar)
  • Iberdola Renewables (wind)
  • Springfield Power LLC (wood)
  • Dartmouth College (efficiency)
  • TransCanada (hydro)
  • NextEnergy (nuclear, Seabrook Station)
  • Public Service of New Hampshire (coal and wood)
  • Granite Ridge Energy (combined cycle gas)
We will use David MacKay's book, Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air, as our text. This book is available to read on-line or as a free download. You can also buy a more standard copy on Amazon.

The Blog

Hargraves has started a blog for Energy Safari, and we are also trying to get some media coverage. Getting media coverage may be hard, since most power plants will not allow photography on-site. This is such an unusual group of visits that we think they should be documented.

Visit the blog at Energy Safari. I will also post in this blog about our adventures.

Images from various sources on Wikipedia. Anthracite coal from the Wikipedia article on coal.The hydroelectric dam diagram originates from TVA. The gas turbine diagram is a GE gas turbine.


David said...

I am jealous!!

Atomikrabbit said...

Sounds like a blast! I hope your participants ask some hard questions along the way.

Still got a day job :-(