Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems: 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems

2nd Edition

By Frank Kreith, Frank Kreith

CRC Press

790 pages | 23 Color Illus. | 396 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781466556966
pub: 2013-08-19

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Completely revised and updated, Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems, Second Edition presents broad-based coverage of sustainable energy sources and systems. The book is designed as a text for undergraduate seniors and first-year graduate students. It focuses on renewable energy technologies, but also treats current trends such as the expanding use of natural gas from fracking and development of nuclear power. It covers the economics of sustainable energy, both from a traditional monetary as well as from an energy return on energy invested (EROI) perspective.

The book provides complete and up-to-date coverage of all renewable technologies, including solar and wind power, biological processes such as anaerobic digestion and geothermal energy. The new edition also examines social issues such as food, water, population, global warming, and public policies of engineering concern. It discusses energy transition—the process by which renewable energy forms can effectively be introduced into existing energy systems to replace fossil fuels.

See What’s New in the Second Edition:

  • Extended treatment of the energy and social issues related to sustainable energy
  • Analytic models of all energy systems in the current and future economy
  • Thoroughly updated chapters on biomass, wind, transportation, and all types of solar power
  • Treatment of energy return on energy invested (EROI) as a tool for understanding the sustainability of different types of resource conversion and efficiency projects
  • Introduction of the System Advisor Model (SAM) software program, available from National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), with examples and homework problems
  • Coverage of current issues in transition engineering providing analytic tools that can reduce the risk of unsustainable fossil resource use
  • Updates to all chapters on renewable energy technology engineering, in particular the chapters dealing with transportation, passive design, energy storage, ocean energy, and bioconversion

Written by Frank Kreith and Susan Krumdieck, this updated version of a successful textbook takes a balanced approach that looks not only at sustainable energy sources, but also provides examples of energy storage, industrial process heat, and modern transportation. The authors take an analytical systems approach to energy engineering, rather than the more general and descriptive approach usually found in textbooks on this topic.


… "This is an ideal book for seniors and graduate students interested in learning about the sustainable energy field and its penetration. The authors provide very strong discussion on cost-benefit analysis and ROI calculations for various alternate energy systems in current use. This is a descriptive book with detailed case-based analyses of various systems and engineering applications. The text book provides real-world case studies and related problems pertaining to sustainable energy systems."

––Dr. Kuruvilla John, University of North Texas

"The new edition of "Principles of Sustainable Energy" tackles many important issues in depth and with great clarity. The important inclusion of net energy analysis adds an essential dimension to the discussion of sustainable energy. The development and presentation of the emerging field of Transition Engineering represents a vital new direction for engineers that is urgently needed at this pivotal moment for society. The discussion of an overall constraint in energy supply and options for demand reduction are critical – many academic texts focus on supply side technological fixes to both security of energy supply and climate change."

––Michael Dale, Global Climate and Energy Project, Stanford University, CA

"This book provides thorough coverage of not only the technical aspects of energy sources, traditional and renewable energy technologies, and resulting impacts on society and the environment, but also broader historical, political, economic, and social aspects that are critically intertwined with energy decision-making today. This textbook can be easily integrated, in its entirety or using selected chapters, into a variety of classes, ranging from highly technical engineering design or science classes to classes offered in other disciplines, such as political science, business, economics, etc."

––Angela S. Lindner, Ph.D., University of Florida

"…provides an excellent overview of the whole sustainable energy canvas. …this book is ideal for a course on renewable energy technologies."

––T. Agami Reddy, Arizona State University, Tempe

"… a very educational book that enables an energy novice to become literate in the most important aspects of energy systems. From technology, to systems, to the role of scientists and engineers in providing for a more livable future, Principles of Sustainable Energy provides both the needed background principles to understand both energy technology and sustainability. The authors teach us that it is not only technology that enables a better future, but our chosen uses of technologies."

—Carey W. King, University of Texas at Austin

Table of Contents

Introduction to Sustainable Energy

Sustainability Principles

Carrying Capacity

Context for Sustainable Energy

Key Sustainability Considerations

Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Energy from Fossil Fuels

Nuclear Energy

Renewable Energy


NREL System Advisor Model

Energy Units and Conversion Factors


Discussion Questions

Online Resources


Suggested Readings

Economics of Energy Generation and Conservation Systems

Unit Cost of Energy

Payback Period

Time Value of Money


Societal and Environmental Costs

Total Life Cycle Costs

Internal Rate of Return

Capital Recovery Factor

Levelized Cost of Energy

Input–Output Analysis

Energy System Analysis Methodologies

Energy Return on Energy Invested

EROI for a Wind Energy System

EROI for Nuclear Power

Relation between Energy Return on Energy Invested and Monetary Return on Investment



Wind Energy, Contributing Author: Gary E. Pawlas

Wind Power in a Nutshell

Power and Energy

Fact or Fiction: Common Questions about Wind Turbines

History of Wind Turbine Development: HAWTs and VAWTs

Introduction to Wind Turbine Performance


Wind Characteristics

Turbine Performance

Cost of Energy

Wind Farms

Offshore Wind Energy

System Advisory Model

Additional Topics for Study




Capturing Solar Energy through Biomass, Contributing Authors: Robert C. Brown and Mark M. Wright

Biomass Production and Land Use

Waste Material

Energy Crops


Land Use for Biomass Production

Important Properties of Biomass

Biomass Process Economics and Technology

Conversion of Biomass to Gaseous Fuels

Conversion of Biomass to Liquid Fuels

Conversion of Biomass to Electricity

Fossil and Biomass Fuel Properties




Fundamentals of Solar Radiation

Physics of the Sun and Its Energy Transport

Thermal Radiation Fundamentals

Sun–Earth Geometric Relationship

Solar Radiation

Estimation of Terrestrial Solar Radiation

Models Based on Long-Term Measured Horizontal Solar Radiation

Measurement of Solar Radiation





Analysis of Photovoltaic Cells

Manufacture of Solar Cells and Panels

Design for Remote Photovoltaic Applications

Thin-Film PV Technology

Multilayer PV Technology

PVWatts for PV Performance Estimates



Suggested Readings

Solar Heating and Cooling of Buildings

Radiative Properties and Characteristics of Materials

Flat-Plate Collectors

Evacuated Tube Collectors

Experimental Testing of Collectors

Calculations of Heating and Hot Water Loads in Buildings

Solar Water-Heating Systems

Liquid-Based Solar Heating Systems for Buildings

Methods of Modeling and Design of Solar Heating Systems

Solar Cooling

Solar Desiccant Dehumidification



Solar Process Heat and Thermal Power

Historical Perspective

Solar Industrial Process Heat

Parabolic Collectors

Long-Term Performance of SIPH Systems

Thermal Power Fundamentals

Solar Thermal Power Plants

Parabolic Dish Systems and Stirling Engines



Passive Solar Heating, Cooling, and Daylighting, Contributing Author: Jeffrey H. Morehouse


Key Elements of Economic Consideration

Solar Thermosyphon Water Heating

Passive Solar Heating Design Fundamentals

Passive Design Approaches

Passive Space-Cooling Design Fundamentals

Daylighting Design Fundamentals


Defining Terms


Suggested Readings

Further Information

Energy Storage

Overview of Storage Technology

Mechanical Technologies

Direct Electrical Technologies

Fundamentals of Batteries and Fuel Cells

Rechargeable Batteries

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen

Thermal Energy Storage

Virtual Storage in the Electric Transmission Grid



Battery Resources

Ocean Energy Conversion

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

Tidal Energy

Ocean Wave Energy





Alternative Fuels

Well-to-Wheel Analysis

Mass Transportation

Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Advanced Ground Transportation with Biomass Fuel

Future All-Electric System

Hydrogen for Transportation

Natural Gas as a Transitional Bridging Fuel


Energy Committee


Online Resources

Transition Engineering, Contributing Author: Susan Krumdieck

Foundations of Transition Engineering

Anthropogenic System Dynamics

Risk Management

Framework of Change Projects

Strategic Analysis of Complex Systems

Concluding Remarks




About the Series

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Energy
SCIENCE / Mechanics / Dynamics / Thermodynamics
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Power Resources / Alternative & Renewable