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Modular Energy Solutions will update this page with links and documents to support the education of our community regarding alternative energy.  Included will be technical documents and course material that educators are free to use to supplement their own classroom material.

Resources for Understanding Sustainable Energy

This file is created and Maintained by FredZeise@GoMilpitas.com as a resource for renewable energy education. Distribution and re-use of the contents for educational purposes is encouraged.

The changing sources of Energy available for our children during the 21’st Century through 2050 represent one of the most critical long-term challenges to our infrastructure and way of life.

The best overview of this that I have found is from the supply side: "Nathan Lewis presents Global Energy Perspective: Scientific Challenges in Sustainable Energy Technology" can be downloaded to your home or library computer from http://nsl.caltech.edu/energy.html as a streaming video into RealPlayer. (Choose appropriate download speed). The text and slides are also available for download. He addresses the thesis of "Do we want to run the experiment" on global warming, energy supply, population growth and development as a streaming video into RealPlayer.

His current talk is "Powering the Planet" found at


among many other energy related talks.

The Al Gore movie and book are accurate but now understated portrayals of the problems and transition that we must achieve to continue some semblance of our current way of life.

Another movie, produced in 2006 with major appearances by the David Goodstein, Provost of Caltech; Matt Simmons, Author of "Twilight in the Desert"; and Collin Campbell, founder of ASPO; is "The Crude Awakening" available from Netflix, Amazon and others.

A great series of articles is available in the Association for Peak Oil news-letter archive at


An excellent series of energy related talks is available for download from the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center at


Some PARC talks of particular relevance to renewable / sustainable energy are

          April 3, 2006 Solar PV: The Path From Niche to Mainstream Supplier of Clean Energy
          Dr. Richard Swanson, President and CTO of SunPower

          May 3, 2007 Fuels and Chemicals from Renewable Resources: An Industrial Renaissance?
          Dr. Douglas C. Cameron, Khosla Ventures

          Feb 1, 2007 Managing Office Buildings for the 21st Century
          George Denise, CFM, CPM, FMA, RPA, General Manager, Cushman & Wakefield
          This presentation examines the rapid and continuing paybacks available by Green upgrades to an existing building as implemented by Adobe Systems SJ.

          Jan 25, 2007 The Promise of Concentrators in the World of Photovoltaics
          Steve Horne, VP Operations and Chief Scientist, SolFocus, Inc.

          Mar 30, 2006 CPUCs Solar Energy Program
          Commissioner Dian M. Grueneich, California Public Utilities Commission

          Nov 10, 2005 Accelerating Breakthroughs in Small Scale Electricity Storage -- A Strategic Economic Lever
          Julian Gresser, Chairman--Alliances for Discovery/Chairman & President, Energy Voyager, Inc. and Dan Rastler, EPRI

          There is a broad range of canned video presentations available for download from


          Extensive search by topic options are implemented. Topics for Environment and Energy include

Earth Systems Engineering and Management - Brad Allenby
Geosciences and Carbon Sequestration to Address Climate Change - Margaret Leinen
The U.S. Energy Crisis and the Role of New Nuclear Plants - Thomas A. Christopher
Solar Energy as a Major Replacement for Fossil Fuel - Roger Angel
The World is Flat 3.0 - Thomas L. Friedman
Whales to Wood, Wood to Coal/Oil- Whats Next? - Daniel Nocera
Anthropogenic Climate Change: Science, Economics and Policy - Ronald G. Prinn
Climate Variability and Change and their Impact on the Global Harvest - Cynthia Rosenzweig
Fisheries and Global Warming: Impacts on Marine Ecosystems and Food Security - Daniel Pauly
From Rocks to Genes and Back: Stories about the Evolution of Photosynthesis - Dianne K. Newman
Electrons, Life and the Evolution of the Oxygen Cycle on Earth - Paul G. Falkowski
Global Resources and the Built Environment - John Fernandez
Energy in a Global Context - Susan Hockfield, Nazli Choucri
Energy 2.0 Morning Keynote - Jeffrey Immelt
Electronics on Plastic: A Solution to the Energy Challenge, or a Pipe Dream? - Stephen R. Forrest
Uncertainties in Climate Forecasts: Causes, Magnitudes and Policy Implications - Stephen H. Schneider
Global Warming, Up Close and Local - Richard B. Primack
The Future of Nuclear Energy - Andrew C. Kadak, Allison Macfarlane
Geothermal - An Undervalued Primary U.S. Energy Source - Jefferson W. Tester
Climate and Energy: Uncertainties in Forecasts and the Problems of Scale - Ronald G. Prinn

Stanford University Global Climate and Energy Project has many resources and conference papers at


These include a chart with descriptive paper of the earths energy flows at




Lockheed Martin in their Palo Alto Research Center has an open Thurs Afternoon lecture Series with most slides available for download.


The January 10 talk by Lynn Orr of Stanford provides an update on the Lecture Series below.

Stanford Universitys School of Earth Sciences runs an annual lecture series

Earth Sciences Energy & Environment Public Lecture Series

The 2007 Fall Series presentations are available at


2005-2006 The End of Oil was presented as a 3 part lecture series that can be downloaded and viewed. The slides for most talks can be downloaded for convenience as PDF files.

The 2006-2007 Series was Made in China and the upcoming series on water supplies will be held in Jan April 2008: http://pangea.stanford.edu/eslectures/

Stanford Linear Accelerator Bi-Monthly public talks Video Archives

February 2007, Hydrogen: Fueling the Future



Public tours are available for signup on Tues and Thursday mornings as space permits. See
http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/tours/tour/pubtour_list.asp for time and availabilities. There appears to be about a 2 month backlog between signup and the next available tour.

          The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)


          Both talks, slides and PDFs are available here for download

          The 2007 Technical Summaries are really worth reading and come in 4 parts
          Summary Synthesis Report
          The Physical Science Basis
          Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability
          Mitigation of Climate Change



          Readable resources for sustainable energy and the need for ramping up our transition.

Talks sponsored by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers on engineering advances for humanity. These are transcribed into PDF documents.



Tales of an engine designer - 16th George Stephenson Lecture

27 May 2006 | Osborn, Alec

Alec Osborn reflects on his career as in engine design and outlines the design and development of two engines which greatly influenced his career; the...


Engineering the ultimate reality show - 15th George Stephenson Lecture

28 July 2005 | Ives, Andrew P

Emphasizes the importance of engineers and engineering in helping to meet the environmental challenges that confront the planet and humanity in the 21...


The challenges of offshore oil and gas deepwater - 14th George Stephenson Lecture

03 August 2004 | Edgar, William

William Edgar presents a broad picture of the challenges faced by the oil and gas industry as it moves towards deepwater and ultra deepwater productio...


Tribology: motoring into the 21st Century - 13th George Stephenson Lecture

02 April 2004 | Taylor, Chris

Chris Taylor reviews some of the historical background to the history of tribology, including that associated with the Institution of Mechanical Engin...


Changing trains - 12th George Stephenson Lecture

29 October 2001 | Roche, Tony

This lecture focuses on the progressive changes in train engineering in the UK, but with some examples from other parts of the world. These changes i...

Transportation in the 21st Century: our challenges and opportunities - 11th George Stephenson Lecture

25 May 1999 | James, McKnight

Presents a brief history of transportation tracing the development of the: railway locomotive, the passenger ship, the automobile, the aircraft and th...


Pressure vessel technology: past, present and future - 10th George Stephenson Lecture

01 December 1998 | Spence, John ; Darlaston, John

Pressure vessel technology plays an important role in many branches of engineering. Equally many aspects of engineering and science play an integral ...


Motor vehicle emissions control: past achievements, future prospects - 9th George Stephenson Lecture

28 October 1997 | Heywood, Professor John B

Motor vehicles - cars, trucks and buses - are a major source of air pollution. For 35 years we have been both learning about the problem and attemptin...


Resources pointing to projects that give us hope for the future


        An innovative Solar thermal to Electric company that is currently doing a 177 MWatt system for PGE in South Central California including multiple hours of thermal energy storage to allow peak shifting of generation by multiple hours. Apparently excess collector area is affordable relative to the cost of the steam turbine. See item 3 for typical data on Electricity usage. There are also some good technical articles and data available on this site.


        An interesting technique for "Hydrogen Storage" by generating H2 from the reaction of an alloy of Al + Ga + trace elements and H2O that will keep the alloy liquid at room temperature and also inhibit formation of the oxide layer on aluminum that makes Al normally un-reactive. This alloy can regenerated by skimming off the Alumini (Al2O3) and putting it through the electrolysis process again to produce aluminum metal. The Ga + In is retained with currently a 1 – 3% loss rate / cycle. This work is being performed under Jerry Woodall, a major innovator in GaAs for semiconductors materials technology.

        The minute by minute electricity usage for Northern Calif is available at

        http://caiso.com/outlook/SystemStatus.html. It shows a seasonally varying peak consumption to minimum consumption ratio of 1.5 to > 2 in the Summer. This is where the initial PV installations will make a real contribution, by replacing the use of lower efficiency "Peaking generators" mid-day and early afternoon with renewable energy.

Introductory Books


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Last modified: October 16, 2010
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