34624 - Innovative Electrical Technologies M

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course provides basis for innovation technology knowledge in the field of electrical/energetic engineering, in particular on  nanocomposite materials, photovoltaic technologies, innovative batteries, fuel cells and superconductors.  

Course contents

I Applications of Nanotechnologies  in electric and energy engineering
 1 . Nanostructured materials: main methods of synthesis, characterization of the properties, polymer / lamellar silicates, carbon nanotubes
 2 . Outline of the main applications of nanostructured materials in the field of energy: batteries, fuel cells, photovoltaic panels.

II Electrochemical energy storage
 1 . Principles of operation of batteries: pile of Volta and Daniell, polarization and reversibility
 2 . Battery specifications: voltage, capacity and their dependence on design factors.
 3 . Primay and Secondary Batteries : acid accumulators (fundamental electrochemical reactions, gassing and gas recombination, characteristics of lead-acid cells ); alkaline batteries (type, electrochemical reactions, fundamental characteristics of Ni-Cd cells, sealed batteries), secundary batteries for automotive.
 4 . Innovative batteries:  zinc / air cells, Zebra, lithium- ion and lithium polymer.

III Fuel Cells
 1 . Principles of operation of the cell, the effect of operating parameters on performance.
 2 . Types of cells ( AFC, PEMFC, DMFC, PAFC , MCFC and SOFC) and applications.
 3 . Main methods of hydrogen production (electrolysis and reforming).

IV Superconductor components
 1 . General aspects of superconductivity: history, macroscopic properties, phenomenology of superconductors, superconducting type I, critical temperature, critical field, critical current, critical frequency and correlations, intermediate state and mixed state, type II superconductors, London theory , Ginnzburg -Landau and BCS theories, superconductors and real phenomena (pinning).
 2 . Superconducting oxides - a new class of materials for electrical engineering: superconducting materials for electrical applications, crystal structure and methods of preparation, YBCO and BSCCO, configuration of the superconducting components for energy applications.
 3 . Methods for electromagnetic characterization of superconductors: measurement of critical current, measure of magnetization and hysteresis loop. Laboratory exercises.
 4 . Applications in the energy sector: different types of applications (MRI, current limiters, SMES, motors and transformers, superconducting cables ).

V Photovoltaic energy production
 1 . Photovoltaic effect. Main technologies in the field of photovoltaics: silicon cells (monocrystalline, polycrystalline, amorphous) thin film solar cells, organic cells.
 2 . Design criteria of photovoltaic system. Examples of design.

Teaching methods

The course consists of lectures and laboratory demonstrations on superconductors, batteries and photovoltaic cells.

Assessment methods

Achievements will be assessed by the means of a final exam. This is based on an analytical assessment of the "expected learning outcomes" described above.

In order to properly assess such achievement the examination consists of an oral session with 3 questions on topics of the course, to ascertain the knowledge of the student and the ability to apply such knowledge in simple practical problems.

Higher grades will be awarded to students who demonstrate an organic understanding of the subject, a high ability for critical application, and a clear and concise presentation of the contents.

To obtain a passing grade, students are required to at least demonstrate a knowledge of the key concepts of the subject, particularly regarding protections against indirect and direct contacts in electic distribution networks, some ability for critical application and an acceptable use of technical Language.

A failing grade will be awarded if the student shows knowledge gaps in key-concepts of the subject, in particular on energy storage, supercondutvitiy and fotovoltaic systems, as well as inappropriate use of language, and/or logic failures in the analysis of the subject.

Teaching tools

Didactic material will be provided online by the teacher on Online Teaching website. Look at the link regarding didactic material.

Office hours

See the website of Davide Fabiani