Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems  book cover
2nd Edition

Principles of Sustainable Energy Systems

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ISBN 9781466556966
Published August 19, 2013 by CRC Press
790 Pages - 23 Color & 396 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

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

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… "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