Associate ETE professor Annemiek ter Heijne (2nd from the right) has been nominated for the Excellent Education Award of Wageningen UR, in the category Basic Courses. Together with 4 other nominees, she was in the race for the final nomination. And although she eventually didn’t win the competition, it shows the appreciation of her course Renewable Energy Technologies by the students. Obviously, a theoretical part combined with applying the theory in a real-life case study, together with the enthusiasm of the lecturer, appealed to the students.
Basics of energy
‘Energy is a hot topic nowadays, and this course teaches students the important basics of energy: energy saving and harvesting sustainable energy sources, like solar, wind and biomass’, Ter Heijne says. ‘During the course students will also focus on how different technologies, like solar panels and heat pumps work, while they also learn to calculate the efficiency of different energy conversions.’ Heat transport, energy loss from a house, electricity and possibilities to store energy are covered in detail. In addition, guest lecturers provide detailed knowledge on solar cells and wind turbines.
The theory learned in this first part of the course is applied in the second part of the course in a case study, where students have to design an energy self-sufficient house on a specific geographical location. ‘They need to consider the location’s different weather conditions and be aware of the solar radiation reaching the house, wind and temperature’, Ter Heijne explains. ‘The house has 1 hectare of land, and this may be used to place solar panels, or when there is an altitude difference and a creek, to generate electricity using hydropower.
Even during Covid, when part of the lectures was given online, the course worked out. Ter Heijne: ‘We had a really nice crew of teachers that could easily join in using Teams to help out students. This course really worked well online too.’