This class will present technologies for energy conversion, energy transport and energy storage for various energy vectors (electricity, heat, fuels). It will cover:

  • Definitions: primary energy, final energy, energy conversion, power/discharge diagrams, energy density, conversion between energy vectors, etc.
  • For each technology: the technology working principle, its efficiency range, the plant/network/device design (components, architecture, fluxes in/out, orders of magnitude), the necessary resources and siting constraints (eg a connection to a water network or other infrastructures), the size, construction time and lifetime of the plants/networks/devices, technology costs in terms of CAPEX and OPEX, the potential evolutions of the technology and in some cases, externalities and scalability potential
  • Electricity generation: thermal power plants; nuclear plants; hydroelectricity; wind farms; concentrating solar power plants; photovoltaics farms
  • Electricity transport and distributions: electrical grids, their evolutions in terms of sizing, physical capacity and management (smart, micro, mini grids)
  • Heat generation and management: co-generation, solar thermal, heat pumps, heat networks, geothermal power, waste heat
  • Fuels: biomass, oil, gas and alternative gases, including hydrogen (production, distribution, storage, fuel cells)
  • Energy storage: hydrostorage, electrochemical storage (batteries, supercapacitors), mechanical storage (compressed air, inertia), thermal storage (phase change, thermochemical), power2gas, buildings and vehicles as storage devices


Learning objectives:

  • Explain the notion of energy vectors and conversion between vectors
  • For each technology:

  1. explain the technology working principle and its efficiency range
  2. describe the plant, network or device design (components, architecture, fluxes in/out, scale)
  3. identify the necessary resources and siting constraints (eg a connection to a water network or other infrastructures)
  4. estimate the size and lifetime of projects
  5. know the technology costs in terms of CAPEX and OPEX
  6. anticipate the potential evolutions of the technology

  • Explain how energy can be transported at various scales
  • Understand constraints from and on the electrical grid and the evolutions thereof
  • Compare technologies or portfolios of technologies:

  1. Understand the differences between the various technologies in terms of orders of magnitude of energy production, efficiencies and costs
  2. Understand the technical criteria to choose a production/transport/storage technology to fulfil an energy need
  3. Determine the adequacy of a production/transport/storage technology to a specific site or region based on technical criteria

  • Be aware of the potential impacts of technological evolutions (with regards for example to the life cycles, business models, etc.)
  • Identify reliable sources of information on energy technology

Assessment: online quizzes and reports, self-assessments and peer assessments