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Anna Demeo is a researcher and lecturer of physics and engineering at College of the Atlantic. Anna’s teaching focus is project based renewable energy courses with a strong hands-on component. Anna spent over 10 years in industry as an electrical engineer specializing in system design. Her research is focused on smart-grid and community scale renewable energy. Anna has a B.S. from the University of Colorado in Electrical Engineering, an M.S. in Marine Bio-Resources and a PhD in Engineering in the Natural Sciences, both from the University of Maine. Her PhD dissertation: “A three-pronged approach to community scale renewable energy: education, incremental capital investment and smart grid technology reflects her interdisciplinary approach to sustainable energy; combining community outreach, economics, education and technology. Anna currently holds the position of Director of Energy Education and Management.
ES545Electric Vehicles: A Hands-on Introduction
There is a growing agreement that electrifying the transport sector is an essential part of any set of actions sufficient to avoid catastrophic climate change. In this course, students will gain a hands-on introduction to electric vehicles. This class will center around building a small electric car using the SUNN Electric Vehicle kit. The resulting car, which is legal for use on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less, will be used jointly by College of the Atlantic and the Seal Cove Auto Museum. The project will involve every aspect of assembling, testing, and painting a small electric car. Throughout the term students will learn about electric vehicle history, technology, current events and different electric vehicle initiatives. Most of the class time will be hands-on activities necessary to complete the project. However, there will also be assigned readings followed by group discussions and some reflective and analytic writing assignments. Students in the class will give an end-of-term presentation about their project. Depending on student interest, this presentation may be geared toward high school and middle school students, or policy makers and planners. Students who successfully complete this class will: gain an increased understanding of how electric vehicles work and some of the technical, social, and economic challenges that hinder their widespread adoption; basic mechanical skills and an understanding of electronics; and experience working collaboratively on a time-intensive project. Evaluation will primarily be based on active and full participation in all aspects of the project; students will also be evaluated on several short writing assignments. There are no pre-requisites for the course; students of all backgrounds and interests are welcome. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Class limit: 6. Lab fee: $50.
ES5030Energy and TechnologyThis is an advanced energy course that expands on basic energy principles to take a more in-depth look at several sustainable energy technologies. This will be a project-centered course with a focus on renewable energy and conservation efforts on campus and within the community. Students will examine energy issues from several perspectives, determine possible solutions and formulate a plan to collect needed data, secure funds and work with stakeholders. Over the course of the term students will learn about technologies such as heat pumps and energy storage devices as well as conservation methods and the power grid. The overarching goal of this course is to develop the skills needed to orchestrate a successful renewable energy endeavor, taking into account time, cost, social, logistical and technological constraints.
Students will be graded on homework assignments, class participation, presentations and a final report. This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Impact Investing and Islands: Energy, Economy and Community.
COURSE LEVEL: Advanced. PREREQUISITES: Instructor Permission and at least one of the following: Math and Physics of Sustainable Energy (preferred), Energy Practicum, Financials, Business Nonprofit Basics, Sustainable Strategies or Launching a New Venture. CLASS LIMIT: 10 COA students and 5 Islanders. LAB FEE: none. MEETS THE FOLLOWING DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: ES
MD5011Islands: Energy, Economy and CommunityThis course is focused on developing initiatives in the renewable energy and finance sectors on MDI and Maine Islands and is being offered in conjunction with the Island Institute and the Samsø Energy Academy in Denmark. This will be a comprehensive, intensive, interdisciplinary course. Students and community members from Maine’s Islands will learn from the Samsø Island experience of transforming to a carbon negative island through a community driven, grass-roots approach to create investment opportunities for both individuals and businesses in enterprises that developed and scaled, efficiency upgrades, wind, and solar power production and biofuel distributed heating and other elements of a renewable energy portfolio.
Three weeks of the term will be spent at Samsø’s Energy Academy learning the community process, investment and engineering strategies that the small rural farming and tourist community used to transform themselves into an independent energy community and rejuvenate their local economy. The course will push students to identify opportunities within their communities and develop significant energy related ventures accordingly. COA students and island resident participants will use this knowledge to develop plans for adapting and creating appropriate technology, investment platforms or services to reduce energy consumption and to boost renewable energy production here in Maine.
Students will be evaluated based on class participation, written assignments and verbal presentations. This course will be integrated with and requires co-enrollment in Impact Investing and Energy and Technology.
COURSE LEVEL: Advanced. PREREQUISITES: Instructor Permission and at least one of the following: Math and Physics of Sustainable Energy (preferred), Energy Practicum, Financials, Business Nonprofit Basics, Sustainable Strategies or Launching a New Venture. CLASS LIMIT: 10 COA students and 5 Islanders. LAB FEE: $500.
ES1034Physics and Mathematics of Sustainable EnergyThe aim of this course is to help students learn some basic physics and quantitative and analytical skills so that they can participate intelligently and responsibly in policy discussions, personal and community decisions, and ventures in the area of sustainable energy. We will begin with some basic physics, including: the definition of energy, the difference between energy and power, different forms of energy, and the first and second laws of thermodynamics. We will also provide students with a basic scientific and economic introduction tovarious alternative energy technologies. Along the way, students will gain mathematical skills in estimation and dimensional analysis, and will learn to use spreadsheets to assist in physical and financial calculations. There will also be a weekly lab to help students understand the physical principles behind different energy technologies and gain experience gathering and analyzing data.
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to apply what they have learned to basic issues in sustainable energy. For example, they will be able to evaluate and analyze a proposed technology improvement by considering its dollar cost, carbon reduction, return to investment, payback time, and how all this might depend on, say, interest rates or the cost of electricity or gasoline. Students will also be able to analyze the potential of a technology or energy source to scale up. E.g., they will be able to consider not only the benefits to a homeowner of a solar installation, but to also analyze the degree to which solar power may contribute to Maine's energy needs.
This will be a demanding, introductory, class. Evaluation will be based on weekly problem sets, participation in class and lab, and a final project. At least one college-level class in mathematics or physical science is strongly recommended.
Level: Introductory. Prerequisites: None. Class limit: 18. Lab fee $50.00 Meets the following degree requirements: QR ES
ES472Physics II: Introduction to Circuits
This course will provide students with a broad introduction to circuits. Students with little or no previous knowledge in electronics will learn the fundamentals of circuits in both the analog and digital realm. The course will cover topics such as current, voltage, power, resistors, capacitors and digital logic circuits, This is a hands-on course focusing more on the "how to" than the "why". By the end of the course students should be able to independently develop, implement, test and document basic circuits. Evaluation will be based on problem sets, participation in lab and class, and a final project or exam. This course makes extensive use of algebra. A college level math, physics, or chemistry class is recommended but not required. Level: Introductory. Prerequisite: High School Algebra. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $50. *ES* *QR*
ES3056Practicum in Renewable EnergyThis is a hands-on, project-based class in which students will collaboratively plan for and oversee all aspects of projects in renewable energy. The projects will occur mainly at College of the Atlantic's small organic farms. Examples of projects include installation of solar photovoltaic array, design and possible installation of a water catchment system, and planning and installing a greenhouse heating system such as a wood-pellet furnace. Students will learn how to take a project from design through fruition while navigating the various phases of the project lifecycle including operation and maintenance. The course will begin with an overview of existing technology and an analysis of the current energy generation and consumption data for the project site(s). This data will inform decisions about renewable energy projects that the class undertakes. The class will then plan the project and present this plan to the community. As part of this planning process, students will learn about the economics of renewable energy systems, including return on investment (ROI), internal rate of return (IRR), and related quantities. Students who successfully complete this class will gain the skills necessary to conceptualize, plan for, finance, and implement renewable energy projects. Evaluation will be based on several presentations and short written assignments and active and effective participation in all aspects of the project.
Level: Intermediate. Pre-requisites: a willingness to work hard as part of a collaborative team. A college-level math, chemistry, physics, or business class is recommended but not required. Not open to first-year students. Permission of instructor only. Class size: 10. Lab Fee: $50