2.651, EC.711 / EC.791 (G) D-Lab: Energy


D-Lab: Energy

D-Lab: Energy provides an overview of thermodynamics and heat transfer through an international development context to impart energy literacy and common sense applications. Students survey many alternative energy technologies and how they are implemented in developing countries. Focuses on compact, robust, low-cost systems for generating electrical power and meeting household-level needs. Labs reinforce lecture material through deconstruction, system assembly, and sensor installation to track performance. Students will work on team projects involving activities such as researching community needs, assessing the suitability of specific technologies, continuing the development of ongoing projects, and assessing the efficacy and impacts of existing projects. Optional summer fieldwork may be available. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.


Course Information
Instructors: Amit Gandhi, Libby Hsu
Semester Offered: Spring (Offered since 2010)
Lecture Location: N51-350
Lecture Times: MW 1-2:30 and F 1-3
Units (credit hours) 3-2-7
Class Size: 20 students
Grading: A/B/C/D/F
Course Student Projects
2013Biodigester MaintenanceEducational materials on the installation and maintenance of biodigesters in the developing world for both children and adults
Ice Cream ChurnA pedal-powered ice cream churn developed with youth in El Salvador for income generation
Ice ShaverA pedal-powered device for making shaved ice developed with youth in El Salvador for income generation
Rabo QuenteA safer resistive water-heating showerhead for use in the favelas of Brazil
Solar Water HeaterImprovements to an economical rooftop solar water heating system
2012Emissions Testing of Cooking FuelsEmissions testing of alternative briquettes made of waste from the garment industry in Haiti, and comparison to charcoal and wood.
Low-Cost Solar Cell EncapsulationMethod of encapsulating solar cells using an EVA laminate and a Solar Cooker in northern Nicaragua with professional finish and minimal solar cell breaking
Orange Juice SealerRedesign and improve microchip and mechanics for orange juice sealer to improve robustness and longevity of the device
Solar Water DistillatorLarge scale water distillation device that is inexpensive, robust, simple to build, and with a 24 hour or shorter distillation cycle
2011Barrel on FireLow cost dugout and sealing process improves the agri-waste charcoal-making process by reducing heat exposure and safety risk to the user
Dehusking InsertA cheap, local process which dehusks rice more conveniently; this allows for personal consumption and income generation
Orange Juice SealerImprovements on a low-power heat sealer device to preserve surplus orange juice in single-serving plastic bags for transport and later sale
Solar Cellphone ChargerCompact device to convert solar energy to a usable voltage for charging cellphones, to be built locally in Nicaragua
2010Charcoal StoveA culturally appropriate charcoal stove that physically and visually integrates into existing local wood stoves
Plastic Bag SealerA device for sealing single use plastic bags for long term juice storage
Solar Cell CutterA device for accurately scoring and cutting scrap solar cells to be made into cell phone chargers
Solar Water DistillerA device for distilling salt water to be used in deep cycle batteries in solar installations