CEAGE offers two online courses dealing with renewable/alternate energy systems and the environmental impacts of producing and utilizing electricity. The courses are available to Virginia Tech students as well as to those seeking continuing education, i.e., working professionals. For further information please contact Prof. Saifur Rahman at (703) 528-5500. A brief description of the courses is given below:

  • ECE 4364 / ECE 5374G - Alternate Energy Systems

  • ECE 6304 - Advanced Topics in Power: Electrical Energy Infrastructures and Microgrids


ECE 4364 / ECE 5374G - Alternate Energy Systems  (View Chapter 1)

Electric energy from alternative energy sources including solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal and ocean; Characteristics of direct conversion, electromechanical conversion, and storage devices used in alternative energy systems; Power system issues associated with integration of small scale energy sources into the electricity grid. Topics included are:

• Energy and the Environment

• Life-cycle Assessment

• Wind Resource

• Power from the Wind

• Wind Energy Conversion System

• Large-scale Applications

• Solar Resource

• Solar Thermal Systems

• Photovoltaic Systems

• Hydroelectric Power

• Geothermal Power

• Non-conventional Hydro

• Storage Systems

• Fuel Cells

• Electric Utility Integration

ECE 4364 / ECE 5374G, Alternate Energy Systems, is completely online over Virginia Tech's Scholar website, and it can be taken for 3 graduate or undergraduate level credits. Anyone with a vt.edu PID can enroll themselves. Non-VT students can enroll via Virginia Tech's Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning (IDDL) VT online website here.  The lecture materials, text book, homework and homework solutions, sample test materials are all posted on the class website in Scholar.  Lectures (containing audio and text materials) are released every week. Students can download them or play from the class web site.  For more info on the course, please view the video of Chapter 1


ECE 6304 - Advanced Topics in Power: Electrical Energy Infrastructures and Microgrid

Introduction to electrical energy infrastructures and their interdependencies, focusing on electrical energy, including generation, transmission and distribution of electricity along with its control systems. Concept of Network theory and model-based vulnerability analysis (MBVA).  Vulnerability assessment case studies of electric power grids, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. Role of emerging distributed generation technologies and cyber infrastructures to reduce risks and vulnerabilities. Distribution system analysis and microgrid operation. Distributed energy resource models, including solar photovoltaics, wind turbines and fuel cells, for electricity sector assurance. Reliability impacts of microgrids. (3H, 3C).