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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

D-Lab: Energy (Spring 2011)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via MIT OpenCourseWare


Course Features
  • Video lectures
  • Demonstration - video
  • Projects and examples
  • Assignments: problem sets (no solutions)
  • Assignments: activity (no examples)
  • Assignments: design with examples
  • Assignments: presentations with examples
Course Description

D-Lab: Energy offers a hands-on, project-based approach that engages students in understanding and addressing the applications of small-scale, sustainable energy technology in developing countries where compact, robust, low-cost systems for generating power are required. Projects may include micro-hydro, solar, or wind turbine generators along with theoretical analysis, design, prototype construction, evaluation and implementation. Students will have the opportunity both to travel to Nicaragua during spring break to identify and implement projects.

D-Lab: Energy is part of MIT's D-Lab program, which fosters the development of appropriate technologies and sustainable solutions within the framework of international development.

This course is an elective subject in MIT’s undergraduate Energy Studies Minor. This Institute-wide program complements the deep expertise obtained in any major with a broad understanding of the interlinked realms of science, technology, and social sciences as they relate to energy and associated environmental challenges.


1. Introduction to Energy.
Lab 1: Human Power.
2. Energy Storage & Microgrids.
Lab 2: Solar Power Measurement, Part I: Lecture.
Lab 2: Solar Power Measurement, Part II: Activities.
3. Lighting; Trip Introduction.
Lab 3: Biogas and Biodigesters, Part I: Lecture.
Lab 3: Biogas and Biodigesters, Part II: Activities.
4. Solar Energy.
Lab 4: Wiring Solar Panels, Part I: Lecture.
Lab 4: Wiring Solar Panels, Part II: Activities.
5. Wind and Micro-Hydro Power; Trip Planning.
Lab 5: Savonius Wind Turbine Construction and Testing.
6. Cooking, Stoves and Fuel.
Lab 6: Charcoal Making and Stove Testing.
Project 1: Trip Planning Presentations (from Lecture 7).
7. Solar Cookers; Creative Capacity Building; Trip Preparation.
Project 2: Trip Report Presentations (from Lecture 8).
8. Project Design Process.
Project 3: Initial Design Review.
Project 4: Final Presentations.

Taught by

Amy Banzaert and Amit Gandhi


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