TEP4111 - Energy and Sustainability


New from the academic year 2023/2024

Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Aggregate score
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Project report 1/2
School exam 1/2 2 hours D

Course content

Energy plays an important role in everyday life, starting from the morning breakfast after a hot shower. We interact with different forms of energy during the day knowingly or unknowingly. A good example is an "electric toothbrush," do you wonder how it works? We use electrical energy to charge the small battery (energy storage) placed inside the casing that powers the electric motor, which rotates the brush through crank and gear mechanism (converting to mechanical energy). Traditional categories of energy are mechanical, thermal, electrical, and chemical. The predominant forms of the energy are thermal and mechanical, or energy converted using a mechanical device. Energy conversion using mechanical devices has been explored since ancient times; one such example is the use of the kinetic energy of wind to sail a boat. Presently, a high emphasizes is placed upon the environment and sustainability, where energy storage and conversion are more important than a decade ago. Furthermore, consequences of climate change are clearly visible, where the source of energy, methods for energy generation, storage and conversion are key drivers to achieve the goals of the green transition globally.

This course is tailored to the study program Mechanical Engineering (MTEK). The study program MTEK comprises of courses in the field of mechanical engineering, renewable energy- and process engineering. This course provides fundamental knowledge on important topics of energy and sustainability, which creates the foundation for the advanced courses in subsequent years.

We will cover following topics in the logical order of increasing complexity.

  1. Energy sources, classifications, and historical developments
  2. Renewable energy (Wind, Solar, Hydro, Biomass, Hydrogen)
  3. Energy conversion and storage (thermal storage and electricity)
  4. Energy demand and focus on energy efficiency in the food- and process sector
  5. Life cycle analysis, environmental impact, sustainability, carbon footprint
  6. Societal perspectives on energy, green transition, including United Nation Sustainable Development Goals

Some of the topics are introductory level, and others are at analysis, and critical reflection level. We will also learn about the ethical aspects and reflections when it comes to making well-informed choices relevant to the environment, sustainability, energy generation, transportation, and societal impact.

The aim of the course is to lay the foundation for advanced courses by raising the students’ fundamental understanding of renewable energy and environmental impact. The course serves as an introduction to sustainability analysis in the context of energy conservation, utilization, storage, and transportation, providing opportunities to consider ethical aspects of the energy transition, and to make well-informed choices by calibrating the available facts, government policies and societal view.

Learning outcome

1. Competence

The desired competences are built on sufficient mastery of component skills, together with sufficient mastery of desired or required knowledge.

After the completion of the course the candidate will be able to…

  1. carry out life cycle analysis by considering the academic knowledge of energy generation, conversion, and storage techniques.
  2. carry out carbon footprint analysis of process and systems using simplified engineering approaches and reflect on the potential outcome.
  3. use the knowledge of basic heat pump-, battery- and bioenergy technology to analysis energy storage solutions and apply them as transitional tools towards a low carbon sustainable society with a significant reduction of the total environmental impact.
  4. analyze process engineering systems in the context of energy and present alternative solutions with some degree of certainty, though scientific analysis.
  5. engage constructively in a scientific discussion relevant to the future energy need, transition, and storage.

2. Skills

After the completion of the course the candidate will be able to…

  1. apply academic knowledge to calculate the essential parameters of electrochemical energy storage systems.
  2. interpret the scenario of energy storage and analyze the environmental impact and sustainability aspects of lithium-ion batteries.
  3. carry out the preliminary computation and academically demonstrate the biogas production technique.
  4. compute the carbon footprint of selected cases in mechanical engineering and reflect upon the computed value, allow the candidate to make well-informed choices.
  5. interpret the scenario of thermal energy storage integrated in both cooling and heating processes and analyze the sustainability aspect of utilizing natural working fluids for these storage devices.
  6. to estimate the energy efficiency of equipment and processes to be able to further support the green transition required to secure a globally sustainable society.
  7. analyze and interpret the different components of product life and sustainability, based on sufficient mastery of methods used for life cycle analysis in the context of mechanical engineering.
  8. work in a group and make a scientific presentation based on identified public information including scientific work. In addition, the student will be able to document the work in a scientific report using Microsoft office tools.

3. Knowledge

After the completion of the course the candidate will be able to…

  1. classify major aspects of energy according to the sources and describe their production techniques, storage possibilities, and conversion principles.
  2. classify electrochemical batteries and be able underline the potential scope in the context of sustainability and environmental impact.
  3. list and explain environmentally harmless (clean) working fluids applied to refrigeration and heat pumping systems.
  4. explain the carbon footprint of a process and be able to identify the potential components causing a high impact on environment.
  5. list the UN sustainable goals and underline potential components. The candidate will be able to interpret policies on climate neutrality and the green transition, and reflect on the current and future policies required.

Learning methods and activities

The teaching-learning activities in this course are,

  • team base learning,
  • problem base learning (case studies and exercises) and
  • project base learning.

The very first lecture focuses on (1) Maskin og Energiteknologi programme specific information such as, programme overview, specialization courses in subsequent years and potential career paths, and (2) course specific information such as course structure, assignments, group work, assessment, expectations and learning outcome. Therefore, it is desirable to attend the first lecture.

The second and subsequent lectures focus on course specific teaching and guidance. The classroom lectures provide essential instructions, study materials, presentations, group work, exercises to accomplish the course objectives and to attain the required competence. The students will attend physical classrooms, face-to-face, both lectures and exercises. Some of the teaching may be either fully digital (real-time streaming or recorded video) or flipped classroom depending on learning content and available resources.

After completing the lectures, we will use team base learning, where we will divide the class into several groups. Guideline for the formation of the team (project group) will be given during the classroom. The groups will carry out the project work during the remaining part of the semester. Topics of the project work will be distributed in the classroom. The project work will allow students to apply the knowledge gained in the first part of the semester. The students will use suitable applications (digital tools), make well-informed realistic choices of given case studies, and interpret the outcome/results relevant to energy and environment (including own reflection). This will culminate in a written scientific report and a group presentation.

Compulsory assignments

  • Compulsory exercises

Further on evaluation

  • There will be five exercises, which are aimed to apply theoretical concepts learnt in the corresponding week and to solve academic problems or provided test cases. These exercises require problem solving either of computational examples or provided test cases and are intended to illustrate applications of theoretical concepts introduced during the preceding week. Four of the five exercises must be approved.
  • Laboratory tour: This is a recommended exercise as it offers an opportunity to learn about the real-life challenges related to energy and environment in the context of state-of-the-art research in the field of renewable energy. More information on the laboratory tour and the specific schedule will be provided in the classroom.

Assessment criteria for the exercises will be presented and discussed in the classroom. The exercises are distinct from each other; therefore, there may be the possibility of different assessment criteria and a requirement of minimum points for each exercise.

There will be project work during the semester. The project report must be delivered before the set deadline. The grade on the project report (50% of total grade) will be announced along with the main examination (50% of total grade). Candidates who have not had four exercises approved will not qualify for the project work submission and write the final examination.

  • The student must pass both the project work and the written examination to pass the course.
  • Specific conditions on re-taking the examination: (1) the written examination may be converted to the oral examination, (2) the student may be allowed to revise and re-submit the project report.

Specific condition

Exercises approved in previous years may be re-approved by the department during re-take of the examination. Partially approved exercises in previous years may not be re-approved during the re-take of the examination.

Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Industrial Economics and Technology Management (MTIØT) - some programmes
Mechanical Engineering (MTMASKIN)

Required previous knowledge

Admission to the programme Maskin og Energiteknologi is required.

Course materials

The study material in this course may be combination of following materials:

  • Book sections (chapter)
  • Presentations and audio-video lectures
  • Compendium and lecture notes
  • Academic case studies
  • Research articles related to the environment and sustainability
  • Policy documents related to the UN sustainable goals, green shift, and the energy transition.

More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Foundation courses, level I


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Energy and Process Engineering
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Energy and Process Engineering


Examination arrangement: Aggregate score

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD School exam 1/2 D 2023-11-30 15:00 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
SL311 lyseblå sone Sluppenvegen 14 19
SL228 Sluppenvegen 14 2
SL310 blå sone Sluppenvegen 14 48
SL310 lilla sone Sluppenvegen 14 80
Autumn ORD Project report 1/2





Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS School exam 1/2 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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