2.60J | Spring 2020 | Undergraduate

Fundamentals of Advanced Energy Conversion


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 2 hours / session


2.006 Thermal-Fluids Engineering II, (2.051 Introduction to Heat Transfer and 2.06 Fluid Dynamics), or permission of instructor.


This course covers fundamentals of thermodynamics, chemistry, and transport applied to energy systems. Topics include analysis of energy conversion and storage in thermal, mechanical, chemical, and electrochemical processes in power and transportation systems, with emphasis on efficiency, performance, and environmental impact. Applications include fuel reforming and alternative fuels, hydrogen, fuel cells and batteries, combustion, catalysis, combined and hybrid power cycles using fossil, nuclear and renewable resources.

Note: This course has undergraduate and graduate versions that share the same material but not the workload. Students taking graduate versions need to complete additional assignments.

Course Objectives

  • Gain a better understanding of thermodynamics, thermochemistry and electrochemistry and their applications to energy conversion.
  • Gain knowledge regarding energy sources including fossil, nuclear and renewables, and current and future energy conversion technologies.
  • Understand theoretical and practical limits of energy conversion among different forms and corresponding efficiencies.
  • Learn to critically analyze energy systems in an independent project, and how to present your results in written and oral form.

Term Projects

The purpose of the term projects is to research and study an energy conversion technology in greater depth than possible in class. The project should incorporate thermodynamic analysis if dealing with thermal energy as well as the energy source/fuel, methods of conversion, targeted power range, political and economic constraints, and competing technologies. A technical report and a presentation session will be the final deliverables for the project.


6 Assignments 66% (11% each)
Term Report 34% (9% midterm report + 20% final report + 5% presentation)

Schedule Note

Two days of the original lecture schedule and one homework assignment were omitted, and the last half of the course was conducted online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets with Solutions
Lecture Notes
Projects with Examples