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10333 Physics of Sustainable Energy

Danish title:

Fysikken i vedvarende energi


Point( ECTS )


Course type:

Technological specialization course, MSc. Eng., Physics and Nanotechnology
Technological specialization course, MSc. Eng., Sustainable Energy


E4B (Fri 8-12)


Campus Lyngby

Scope and form:

Lectures, assignments, journal club.

Duration of Course:

13 weeks

Date of examination:

E4B, and after agreement

Type of assessment:



Qualified Prerequisites:


General course objectives:

To give the student insight into the physics behind different sustainable energy technologies for energy harvesting, storage and conversion, and their limitations determined by the laws of nature.

Learning objectives:

A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:
  • List the possible sources of sustainable energy the amount of energy available in them.
  • Describe the climate models and identify the assumptions behind.
  • Explain the principles behind different energy harvesting methods.
  • List different methods for energy storage and explain the principles behind.
  • List different methods for energy conversion and explain the principles behind.
  • Estimate and calculate the limitations of e.g. storage capacity and energy conversion efficiency based on the physical principles .
  • Critically read, understand and explain current literature to a level where you can present a selected paper
  • Formulate our own project related to sustainable energy and determine the relevant data for tha analysis.


The course will provide an overview of energy situation, energy sources and demand. Go into detail with solar spectrum, climate, harvesting of solar energy, photo synthesis, fuel/energy conversion and energy storage. For understanding the principles behind we will apply elements of quantum mechanics, thermo dynamics, classical mechanics, material science, semi conductor physics and surface science


Environmental Physics by Egbert Boeker and Rienk van Grondelle, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0-471-99780-3.

Green challenge participation:

Please contact the teacher for information on whether this course gives the student the opportunity to prepare a project that may participate in DTU´s Study Conference on sustainability, climate technology, and the environment (GRØN DYST). More infor http://www.groendyst.dtu.dk/english


Jan Rossmeisl , Building 307, Ph. (+45) 4525 3166 , Jan.Rossmeisl@fysik.dtu.dk
Ib Chorkendorff , Building 312, Ph. (+45) 4525 3170 , Ibchork@fysik.dtu.dk


10 Department of Physics

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Last updated: 29. april, 2014