AE 862
Distributed Energy Engineering and Management

AE 862 Syllabus


This syllabus is divided into several sections. You can read it sequentially by scrolling down the length of the document or by clicking on any of the links below to “jump” to a specific section. It is essential that you read the entire document as well as material covered in the course Orientation. Together these serve as our course "contract."


 Parhum Delgoshaei
Parhum Delgoshaei

Parhum Delgoshaei, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Department of Architectural Engineering
Campus address: Penn State at The Navy Yard, Suite 133, 4960 South 12th Street, The Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA, 19128

  • Phone: 215-218-7588
  • Contacting your instructor: Rather than emailing questions directly to me, I encourage you post any question to the Questions? Discussion Forum which you would raise your hand to ask in a traditional class. Asking questions on our forums can benefit all students in that everyone will see the discussions and answers regarding class questions.

    For questions which are more personal in nature, please contact me through the course e-mail system in Canvas.

    NOTE: I will read and respond to e-mail and discussion forums at least once per day during the work week (Monday through Friday). I am usually able to respond within 24 hours on the weekends, but it's not a guarantee. I will inform you if this policy changes.

  • Office Hours: by appointment

Course Overview

This course examines the theories and practices of distributed energy production and management in the context of regional and integrated energy grid structures. The course builds upon a fundamental understanding of energy technologies, engineering economics and building energy systems to prepare students to participate in the energy marketplace in engineering and energy business development market sectors.

What I Expect of You

We have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. The Internet may still be a novel learning environment for you, but in one sense it is no different than a traditional college class: how much and how well you learn is ultimately up to you. You will succeed if you are diligent about keeping up with the class schedule and if you take advantage of opportunities to communicate with me, as well as with your fellow students.

Specific learning objectives for each lesson and project are detailed within each lesson. The class schedule is published on the Calendar in Canvas.

Required Course Materials

All materials needed for this course are presented online through our course website and in Canvas. In order to access all materials, you need to have an active Penn State Access Account user ID (or Friends of Penn State account) and password (used to access the online course resources). If you have any questions about obtaining or activating your Penn State Access Account, please contact the World Campus Helpdesk if you are taking this course for university credit.

Assignments and Grading

This course will rely on a variety of methods to assess and evaluate student learning, including:

  • Homework Assignments
  • Quizzes
  • Participation - Anticipatory Questions

The breakdown of each assignment's value as a percentage of total course grade is listed below. I will use Canvas Grades to keep track of your grades. You can see your grades by clicking on the Grades link in Canvas. Overall course grades will be determined as follows. Percentages refer to the proportion of all possible points earned.

Letter Grade and Corresponding Percentages
Letter Grade Percentages
A 93 - 100 %
A- 90 - 92.9 %
B+ 87 - 89.9 %
B 83 - 86.9 %
B- 80 - 82.9%
C+ 77 - 79.9 %
C 70 - 76.9 %
D 60 - 69.9 %
F < 60 %
X Unsatisfactory (student did not participate)

Due dates for all assignments are posted on the course Calendar in Canvas. Assignments are due by midnight Eastern Standard Time on the dates noted. It is important that your work be submitted in the proper format to the appropriate assignment in Canvas or Discussion Forum and by the designated due date so that feedback can be supplied in a timely manner. Many of these activities require some interpretation and independent thinking on your part. I will read daily and reply as needed. I strongly advise that you not wait until the last minute to complete these assignments—give yourself time to ask questions, think things over, and chat with others. You'll learn more, do better...and be happier!

Assignment Percent and Points
1000 total points
Homework (12 Homework Assignments, 60 points each) 72% (720 points)

Quizzes (12 Quizzes, 20 points each)

24% (240 points)
Participation - Anticipatory Questions (12 sets, 3.33 points eaach) 4% (40 points)

Homework Assignments

Typically these will be design assignments that encourage the use of advanced critical thinking skills. Occasionally, these assignments may involve questions that you answer individually to an assignment in Canvas or questions that you discuss with the class using a Discussion Forum. Assignments will be graded on the depth of research, accuracy of results, use of appropriate references (if needed), and clear communication of results. Details on each Homework Assignment will be located in each Lesson.

The rubric is the metric by which the instructor will grade all submitted assignments. Grading rubrics are useful tools to ensure that your submission adequately addresses the criteria on which it will be assessed. The following rubric will be generally applied to homework assignments.

Homework Assignment Grading Rubric
Content Available Points

Presentation of Content Available Points

Did not complete the homework. 0 N/A 0
Provided answer; however, answer lacked relevance to course content (if applicable) and was not justified (non-computational questions). Applied a clear methodology to arrive at answers (computational questions). 20 Assignment lacks clear writing, needs to be edited more, and has some problems with citations or facts or figures. 5
Provided answer; however, either answer lacked relevance to course content (if applicable) or was not justified thoroughly (non-computational questions). Applied correct methodology to arrive at answers (computational questions). 40 Assignment is still missing some minor editing to be truly polished, but is overall of good quality. 8
Provided answers relevant to course content (if applicable) and thoroughly justified answers (non-computational questions).Provided correct methodology and correct answers (computational questions). 50 Assignment is well-written, edited, and properly cited (if needed). 10
Total Score


Each lesson is accompanied by a quiz that will assess understanding of the course material. You will be prompted to complete the Quizzes in Canvas in each Lesson. Quizzes are worth 20 points each.

Anticipatory Questions

Each lesson will begin with Anticipatory Questions. You are asked to give the question(s) a couple minutes of thought before you begin reading through the lesson material and jot down your initial thoughts in the entry box. Perhaps think of it as a hypothesis on the answer. You are not graded on the accuracy of this submission. Instead, there will be a question on the quiz at the end of the lesson which asks you to reflect on this question again based on what you've learned in the lesson. Your participation in a thoughtful response to the Anticipatory Question is required for your Participation grade. Thoughtful submission of Anticipatory Questions are worth 3.33 points each week.

AE 862 Course Schedule

imagePrintable Schedule

Below you will find a summary of the primary learning activities for this course. This course is 15 weeks in length, with an orientation week preceding the official start of the course. Each lesson varies in length. See our Calendar in Canvas for specific lesson time frames and assignment due dates. Homework assignment due dates will be provided as the course progresses.

Each unit will be four weeks long. The first lesson of each unit will be two weeks long.

Lessons will open on Mondays at midnight. Assignments will be due Sunday (11:59 PM Eastern Time) of the following week (or in two weeks if it is the first lesson in a unit.)

Lesson Tasks
Course Orientation
  • Perform tasks outlined in course orientation to become familiar with the course and the course environment
  • Post a self-introduction to the course Discussion Forum
Unit 1: Challenge
Lesson 1.1: Electricity Industry
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 1.1
  • Assignment 1.1
Lesson 1.2: Electricity Economics
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 1.2
  • Assignment 1.2
Lesson 1.3: Electricity Markets
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 1.3
  • Assignment 1.3
Unit 2: Enable
Lesson 2.1 Smart Grid Key Concepts
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 2.1
  • Assignment 2.1
Lesson 2.2: Advanced Metering and Cyber Security
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 2.2
  • Assignment 2.2
Lesson 2.3: Microgrids
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 2.3
  • Assignment 2.3
Unit 3: Integrate
Lesson 3.1: Wind Energy Grid Integration
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 3.1
  • Assignment 3.1
Lesson 3.2: Solar Energy Grid Integration
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 3.2
  • Assignment 3.2
Lesson 3.3: Combined Heat and Power
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 3.3
  • Assignment 3.3
Unit 4: Manage
Lesson 4.1: Energy Storage Technologies
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 4.1
  • Assignment 4.1
Lesson 4.2: Demand Response Systems
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 4.2
  • Assignment 4.2
Lesson 4.3: Electric Vehicles
  • Read Lesson and assigned material
  • Quiz 4.3
  • Assignment 4.3

Tips for Success

Participate—Odd as it seems, in many ways, an online environment gives us greater opportunity to get to know one other and exchange ideas, challenges, and interesting thoughts. As a working commuting student, I took many courses where I just made it to class after work and then scooted out the door to get home and tend family. Chats with others were hurried and simple. Sure we were “together” (in the same place), but our time was generally spent listening to the professor. Isn’t it interesting that now, without the constraint of having to be in the same place at the same time, we have more of a chance to communicate with one another? Use the course Discussion Forums to get to know one another, work together, learn from one another, and even have a laugh. It’s a special opportunity. You’ll learn more, enjoy the course more, and probably make a better grade.

Do the work on time—Activities are the learning assessment tools for this course. In this class, it won’t work to wait three weeks and then cram for an exam. There are no exams.The Activities are designed to be thought provoking and in many cases require some interpretation. The designated Discussion Forums provide a place where you can work together to surface problems and questions and give me the chance to redirect or provide additional information if needed. I strongly advise not waiting until the last minute to start the week’s assignments. Give yourself time to ask, think,and interact with me and your classmates.

Be responsible and honest—I’m glad you’re taking this course and hope it is a rewarding experience for you with long-lasting benefits. Let’s keep it a good thing. Please review our course policy on Academic Integrity described above. Treat yourself, your classmates, and the instructor with honesty and respect at all times. I'll do the same.

Course Policies

Late Policy

I do not expect any "late work." In exceptional circumstances, you should contact me. The earlier you contact me to request a late submission, the better. Requests will be considered on a case by case basis. Generally, late assignments will be assessed a penalty of at least 10% and will not be accepted more than one week after original due date. Course lessons are available to you in advance. It is your responsibility to plan ahead and work ahead if necessary to accommodate your personal schedule. This flexibility is one of the great features of online learning. Take advantage of it!


Technical Requirements

For this course, we recommend the minimum technical requirements outlined on the World Campus Technical Requirements page, including the requirements listed for same-time, synchronous communications. If you need technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Internet Connection

Access to a reliable Internet connection is required for this course. A problem with your Internet access may not be used as an excuse for late, missing, or incomplete coursework. If you experience problems with your Internet connection while working on this course, it is your responsibility to find an alternative Internet access point, such as a public library or Wi-Fi ® hotspot.


This course must be viewed using the latest version of Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported. If you use any other browser, or if you are not using the latest version of your browser, some pages containing equations may not render properly. In addition, javascript must be enabled for equations to render properly. If you have any issues with equations not rendering properly, please update your browser to the latest version or try using a different browser. If you need additional technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the HelpDesk (for World Campus students) or the IT Service Desk (for students at all other campus locations).

Penn State E-mail Accounts

All official communications from Penn State are sent to students' Penn State e-mail accounts. Be sure to check your Penn State account regularly, or forward your Penn State e-mail to your preferred e-mail account, so you don't miss any important information.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest, and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. 

According to Penn State policy  G-9: Academic Integrity, an academic integrity violation is “an intentional, unintentional, or attempted violation of course or assessment policies to gain an academic advantage or to advantage or disadvantage another student academically.” Unless your instructor tells you otherwise, you must complete all course work entirely on your own, using only sources that have been permitted by your instructor, and you may not assist other students with papers, quizzes, exams, or other assessments. If your instructor allows you to use ideas, images, or word phrases created by another person (e.g., from Course Hero or Chegg) or by generative technology, such as ChatGPT, you must identify their source. You may not submit false or fabricated information, use the same academic work for credit in multiple courses, or share instructional content. Students with questions about academic integrity should ask their instructor before submitting work.

Students facing allegations of academic misconduct may not drop/withdraw from the affected course unless they are cleared of wrongdoing (see G-9: Academic Integrity). Attempted drops will be prevented or reversed, and students will be expected to complete coursework and meet course deadlines. Students who are found responsible for academic integrity violations face academic outcomes, that can be severe, and put themselves at jeopardy for other outcomes which may include ineligibility for the Dean's List, pass/fail elections, and grade forgiveness. Students may also face consequences from their home/major program and/or The Schreyer Honors College.

Please also see Earth and Mineral Sciences Academic Integrity Procedures, which this course adopts. To learn more, see Penn State’s “Academic Integrity Training for Students.

Course Copyright

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor’s express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note-Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University’s Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws. For example, uploading completed labs, homework, or other assignments to any study site constitutes a violation of this policy.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources (SDR) website provides the contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources website.

To receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. See Student Disability Resources: Applying for Services. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Change in Normal Campus Operations

In case of weather-related delays or other emergency campus disruptions or closures at the University, this online course will proceed as planned. Your instructor will inform you if there are any extenuating circumstances regarding content or activity due dates in the course due to these delays or closures. If you are affected by a weather-related emergency, please contact your instructor at the earliest possible time to make special arrangements.

Reporting Educational Equity Concerns

Penn State takes great pride in fostering a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated (Policy AD29 Statement on Intolerance) and can be reported through Educational Equity via Report Bias.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional wellbeing.  The university offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings.  These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients’ cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.  Services include the following: 

Counseling and Psychological Services at University Park  (CAPS): 814-863-0395
Counseling Services at Commonwealth Campuses
Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week): 877-229-6400
Crisis Text Line (24 hours/7 days/week): Text LIONS to 741741

Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Connect Online with Caution

Penn State is committed to educational access for all. Our students come from all walks of life and have diverse life experiences. As with any other online community, the lack of physical interaction in an online classroom can create a false sense of anonymity and security. While one can make new friends online, digital relationships can also be misleading. Good judgment and decision-making are critical when choosing to disclose personal information with others whom you do not know. 

Deferred Grades

If you are prevented from completing this course within the prescribed amount of time for reasons that are beyond your control, it is possible to have the grade deferred with the concurrence of the instructor, following Penn State Deferred Grade Policy 48-40. To seek a deferred grade, you must submit a written request (by e-mail or U.S. post) to the instructor describing the reason(s) for the request. Non-emergency permission for filing a deferred grade must be requested before the beginning of the final examination period.  It is up to the instructor to determine whether or not you will be permitted to receive a deferred grade. If permission is granted, you will work with the instructor to establish a communication plan and a clear schedule for completion within policy.  If, for any reason, the coursework for the deferred grade is not complete by the assigned time, a grade of "F" will be automatically entered on your transcript.


This course will be conducted entirely online. There will be no set class meeting times, but you will be required to complete weekly assignments with specific due dates. Many of the assignments are open for multiple days, so it is your responsibility to complete the work early if you plan to travel or participate in national holidays, religious observances, or university-approved activities.  If you need to request an exception due to a personal or medical emergency, contact the instructor directly as soon as you are able. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

In EMS, inclusivity is one of our core values. We prioritize fostering a diverse and equitable community where each member knows they belong here and is inspired to succeed. We encourage everyone in our EMS community to be actively engaged in fostering this ideal, and all members of this class should contribute to a respectful, welcoming, and inclusive environment and interact with civility. Our commitment to inclusivity aligns with Penn State’s values and policies. 

To learn more, visit EMS Educational Equity.  Here, you will find information about the EMS ALLWE initiative, the Rainbow EMS Network, Anti-Racism, active ally-ship, bystander intervention, and more. The site also has resources for where to turn if you need assistance and links to University references.  Also, contact your EMS department’s Associate Head for DEI for more information about department initiatives. 

Mandated Reporting Statement

Penn State’s policies require me, as a faculty member, to share information about incidents of sex-based discrimination and harassment (discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation) with Penn State’s Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinators, regardless of whether the incidents are stated to me in person or shared by students as part of their coursework. For more information regarding the University's policies and procedures for responding to reports of sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct, please visit Penn State's Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response website.

Additionally, I am required to make a report on any reasonable suspicion of child abuse in accordance with the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law.


Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus can be changed at any time, and you will be responsible for abiding by any such changes. Changes to the syllabus shall be given to you in written (paper or electronic) form.