Renewable Energy PDH Courses

  • Biofuels Basics, 3 PDH

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    Biofuels Basics

    Course Highlights 

    Biofuels include ethanol from grain or sugar, diesel fuel from soybeans, ethanol from cellulosic feedstock, and several other feedstock/fuel combinations. This course provides information about the Biomass Research and Development Board's seven point Action Plan for development of biofuels. There is also information about and a comparison among the wide variety of possible biofuels, with greatest emphasis on those either already in commercial production or close to commercial production capability. There's detail about the production of ethanol from cellulosic feedstocks, which still needs some developmental work, but has great near term potential. Finally there is information about switchgrass, which has great potential as a crop to be used as a cellulosic feedstock for ethanol production.

    This course is intended primarily for energy, civil, mechanical, chemical, environmental, and industrial engineers. Someone completing this course will gain knowledge about basic biofuels technologies.

    In this course, you need to review the Training Material file, which is made up of four NREL and DOE documents: "National Biofuels Action Plan," "From Biomass to Biofuels,NREL Leads the Way" "Research Advances Cellulosic Ethanol, NREL Leads the Way," and "Biofuels from Switchgrass: Greener Energy Pastures."

    Upon completing your review of the course material, you need to take a multiple choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 3 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document. 80% correct is required for a quiz passing grade.

    Learning Objectives

    At the conclusion of this course, the student will learn:

    • The basic concepts of biofuel technology
    • The production processes involved in converting biomass to biofuel
    • The comparative features of nine different feedstock/fuel combinations
    • The plan of action for the multi-agency R&D board for biofuel development
    • Research advances and future goals for producing cellulosic theanol biofuel
    • The dynamics involved in developing switchgrass biomass into biofuel

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    Biofuels Basics

    Course Author Profile: Harlan Bengson, Ph, PE

    Payment Required
  • Fuel Cells - Green Power, 3 PDH

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    Fuel Cells - Green Power

    Course Highlights 

    This three PDH course provides information about various aspects of the hydrogen-based fuel cell and an introduction to several other fuels and fuel cell technologies. Hydrogen fuel cells present great promise for the future and have significant advantages over the internal combustion engine, or even hybrid technologies for automobile use. There is, however, a need for infrastructure development for hydrogen production, storage and delivery, as well as for development of the fuel cells themselves.

    This course is intended for engineers of all disciplines who want to learn more about this new type of renewable energy. Someone who completes this course will gain knowledge about the history of the fuel cell, basics of its operation, comparison of fuel cells with other power sources, and details of several aspects of fuel cells.

    In this course, you need to review the material in the Department of Energy/Los Alamos National Laboratory publication, LA-UR-99-3231, "Fuel Cells - Green Power".

    Upon completing your review of the course material, you need to take a multiple choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 3 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document. 80% correct is required for a quiz passing grade.

    Learning Objectives

    At the conclusion of this course, the student will

    • Be familiar with the basic history of the fuel cell and its development
    • Be familiar with the basic operating principles of the PEM fuel cell
    • Understand the efficiency advantages of converting chemical energy directly to electrical energy without thermal energy as an intermediate
    • Be able to compare fuel cells, internal combustion engines, and batteries
    • Be familiar with the characteristics of various types of fuel cells
    • Be familiar with alternative fuels, other than hydrogen for fuel cells
    • Be familiar with the electrochemistry of the hydrogen based fuel cell
    • Be familiar with components and the overall configuration of a PEM fuel cell
    • Be able to identify potential applications of fuel cells

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    Fuel Cells - Green Power

    Course Author Profile: Harlan Bengson, Ph, PE

    Payment Required
  • Geothermal Today, 3 PDH

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    Geothermal Today

    Course Highlights 

    The geothermal energy potential beneath our feet is vast. This tremendous resource amounts to 50,000 times the energy of all oil and gas resources in the world. Also, geothermal energy is clean. It represents a promising solution for the nation and the world as they become ever more concerned about global warming, pollutions and rising fossil fuel energy prices. This course covers the basics of today's geothermal energy capabilities and technologies, as well as policies and potential barriers to geothermal resource development.

    This course is intended primarily for energy, civil, mechanical, chemical, environmental, and industrial engineers. An attendee of this course will gain knowledge about the basics of geothermal energy capabilities and technologies.

    In this course, you need to review the material in the U.S. DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy publication #GO-10200502189, "Geothermal Today."

    Upon completing your review of the course material, you need to take a multiple choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 3 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document. 80% correct is required for a quiz passing grade.

    Learning Objectives

    At the conclusion of this course, the student will

    • Be familiar with the different types of geothermal resources
    • Be familiar with the limitation of different types of geothermal resources
    • Be familiar with enhanced geothermal systems and how they work
    • Be familiar with the Raft River geothermal project
    • Be familiar with the GeoPowering the West initiative

    Preview Course Material: 
    Geothermal Today

    Course Author Profile: Harlan Bengson, Ph, PE

    Payment Required
  • Photovoltaic Fundamentals, 6 PDH

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    Photovoltaic Fundamentals

    Course Highlights 

    The use of photovoltaic systems for converting sunlight into electricity has been expanding rapidly. This course includes an overview of progress in the field; basic information about the photovoltaic effect; discussion of several different types of solar cells (including single-crystal silicon, semi-crystalline & polycrystalline silicon, thin-film solar cells, gallium arsenide PV cells, and multifunction devices); and information about modules, arrays and systems of solar PV cells.

    This course is intended for energy, mechanical, electrical, chemical, construction, civil, and industrial engineers. Someone who completes this course will gain knowledge about the photovoltaic effect, a variety of types of PV cells, and procedures for putting cells together into modules, arrays and systems.

    In this course, you need to review the material in the course content file, "Fundamentals of Photovoltaics," which is a publication produced under the Solar Technical Information Program at the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) for the U.S. Department of Energy.

    Upon completing your review of the course material, you need to take a multiple choice quiz consisting of thirty (30) questions to earn 6 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document. 80% correct is required for a quiz passing grade.

    Learning Objectives

    At the conclusion of this course, the student will

    • Be familiar with the photovoltaic effect and how it can be used to convert sunlight into electricity
    • Be familiar with an atomic description of silicon
    • Know how light absorption creates charge carriers
    • Know how doping is used to create n-type silicon
    • Know how doping is used to create p-type silicon
    • Know the relationship between energy band gap level and type of solar radiation absorbed
    • Be familiar with the components of single cell silicon cells
    • Be familiar with the processes used to produce single crystal silicon cells
    • Be familiar with the components of semi-crystalline and polycrystalline silicon cells
    • Be familiar with the processes used to produce semi-crystalline and polycrystalline cells
    • Be familiar with the components of thin-film solar cells
    • Be familiar with the processes used to produce thin-film solar cells
    • Be familiar with Gallium Arsenide solar cells and how they are produced
    • Be familiar with multi-junction devices and how they are produced
    • Be familiar with the method of producing PV modules from single crystal silicon cells
    • Be familiar with the method of producing PV modules for thin-film solar cells
    • Be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of flat-plate collectors as compared with concentrating solar collectors
    • Know the components of a solar PV system that are part of the "balance of systems"

    Preview Course Material: 
    Photovoltaic Fundamentals

    Course Author Profile: Harlan Bengson, Ph, PE

    Payment Required
  • Transpired Solar Collectors, 2 PDH

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    Transpired Solar Collectors

    Course Highlights 

    The transpired solar collector is a simple, low tech, inexpensive means of

    This course is intended for engineers of all disciplines who want to learn more about this new type of renewable energy. Someone who completes this course will gain knowledge about the history of the fuel cell, basics of its operation, comparison of fuel cells with other power sources, and details of several aspects of fuel cells.

    In this course, you need to review the material in the Department of Energy/Los Alamos National Laboratory publication, LA-UR-99-3231, "Fuel Cells - Green Power".

    Upon completing your review of the course material, you need to take a multiple choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 3 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document. 80% correct is required for a quiz passing grade.

    Learning Objectives

    At the conclusion of this course, the student will

    • Be familiar with the basic history of the fuel cell and its development
    • Be familiar with the basic operating principles of the PEM fuel cell
    • Understand the efficiency advantages of converting chemical energy directly to electrical energy without thermal energy as an intermediate
    • Be able to compare fuel cells, internal combustion engines, and batteries
    • Be familiar with the characteristics of various types of fuel cells
    • Be familiar with alternative fuels, other than hydrogen for fuel cells
    • Be familiar with the electrochemistry of the hydrogen based fuel cell
    • Be familiar with components and the overall configuration of a PEM fuel cell
    • Be able to identify potential applications of fuel cells

    Preview Course Material: 
    Transpired Solar Collectors

    Course Author Profile: Harlan Bengson, Ph, PE

    Payment Required