Conditions of Use
This book covers a very broad range of direct energy conversion devices: everything from photovoltaics to LEDs and capacitors. read more
This book covers a very broad range of direct energy conversion devices: everything from photovoltaics to LEDs and capacitors.
I can only comment on the Photovoltaic chapter, as that is the only one I used in a course on Power Generation Technologies, but I found it to be quite accurate. I did not notice any factual errors or typos in the text.
This book focuses on theory and fundamentals, and therefore should stand the test of time quite well. For more commercial aspects of photovoltaic power systems, I used recent reports issued by the US Dept of Energy that monitor the state of the solar PV market. This textbook is what I used to teach my students the fundamentals of how PVs work and how they are constructed.
I am a Mechanical Engineer, and therefore not an expert on the movement of electrons or Quantum Physics. Nevertheless, I was able to understand the text. It also contains sufficient background information on the nature of solar radiation and wave energy in general that students who do not have much of knowledge on those topics could come up to speed. There is also a section on the various types of PV cells, which helped my students when they were reading Dept of Energy reports that discussed "thin film" and "multi-junction" cells but have no background on what those are.
Again, I can only speak about the chapter on Photovoltaics, but I did not see any instances of inconsistencies.
I can definitely speak to this, as I only assigned this book to my students for use in teaching them about photovoltaics. Consequently, I can state without reservation that sub-sections of this book can be easily used on a stand-alone basis. I should also add that I feel this is another advantage of using open source textbooks. I would never ask my students to buy a textbook from which I only intended to use one chapter - that would not be cost-effective. However, that is not a concern when using open source textbooks. Since the only "cost" to the students is the time it takes to download the book, there is little downside to asking them to use another open source book to supplement the main textbook in the course.
As I have stated elsewhere, I only used the PV chapter in my course, but the organization of the textbook made it very easy to find the information that I wanted my students to read and understand.
There were no issues that I saw. However, the graphics in this textbook are more rudimentary than would you will find in a for-profit textbook. There is also a higher ratio of text to graphics than I am used to seeing in undergraduate level textbooks. Perhaps that is because the book is also aimed for graduate level courses? There is no "how to use this textbook" preface for instructors in the book, so I am not sure what was the audience the author was aiming at. In fact, the first page of the book is the table of contents, which makes for a less professional look.
Did not find any instances of grammatical errors.
One would not expect any issues of this type in an engineering textbook that is discussing scientific fundamentals, and I did not detect any.
Other chapters in this book cover Capacitors, Piezoelectric Devices, Hall Effect Devices, Antennas, Lamps, LEDs, Lasers, Thermoelectrics, Batteries and Fuel Cells. The first three topics are subjects that I cover in an Instrumentation course, so I will consider using this as a supplemental textbook in that course. In summary, this wide-ranging textbook could be of value in a wide number of engineering courses. I would encourage instructors to give it a look, and remember that even if you find 90% of the book to not be applicable to your course, there is little downside to asking students to use the 10% that is applicable.
Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction
I. Survey of Energy Conversion Devices
- 2. Capacitors and Piezoelectric Devices
- 3. Pyroelectrics and Electro-Optics
- 4. Antennas
- 5. Hall Effect
- 6. Photovoltaics
- 7. Lamps, LEDs, and Lasers
- 8. Thermoelectrics
- 9. Batteries and Fuel Cells
- 10. Miscellaneous Energy Conversion Devices
II. Theoretical Ideas
- 11. Calculus of Variations
- 12. Relating Energy Conversion Processes
- 13. Thomas Fermi Analysis
- 14. Lie Analysis
About the Book
Direct Energy Conversion discusses both the physics behind energy conversion processes and a wide variety of energy conversion devices. A direct energy conversion process converts one form of energy to another through a single process. The first half of this book surveys multiple devices that convert to or from electricity including piezoelectric devices, antennas, solar cells, light emitting diodes, lasers, thermoelectric devices, and batteries. In these chapters, physical effects are discussed, terminology used by engineers in the discipline is introduced, and insights into material selection is studied. The second part of this book puts concepts of energy conversion in a more abstract framework. These chapters introduce the idea of calculus of variations and illuminate relationships between energy conversion processes.
About the Contributors
Andrea M. Mitofsky received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2008, she graduated with her Ph.D. degree and began teaching at Trine University in Angola, Indiana. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Trine University.