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Sustainable urban energy

Individual course

Course contents

  • Energy needs of buildings and cities
  • Building integrated renewable energy generation, active and passive solar energy
  • Buildings’ heating/cooling need
  • Sizing photovoltaic systems and ground source heat pump
  • Building energy efficiency, energy efficiency renovation
  • Basics of HVAC technologies ensuring indoor comfort and health
  • Applying the psychometric chart for different climate zones
  • City planning for energy efficiency, positive energy districts
  • Critical services in cities and synergies: water-energy nexus, waste-to-energy technologies, urban mobility
  • Sustainability in cities, energy transition strategy for cities

Stage 1: Energy in cities (35h)


  • Sustainability in cities
  • Fundamentals of photovoltaics, solar thermal
  • Sizing PV systems

Own work:

  • City district energy audit
  • PV sizing exercise

Stage 2: Building energy efficiency (65h)


  • Psychrometric chart
  • HVAC
  • Air-to-air energy recovery
  • Building materials, U-values
  • Ground-source heat pumps (GSHP)
  • Building energy efficiency
  • City planning for energy efficiency
  • Positive energy districts
  • Ecocities

Own work:

  • Using the psychrometric chart
  • HVAC system learning task
  • Heat exchanger learning task
  • Heating need calculation
  • GSHP sizing exercise
  • Desing work on energy efficiency renovation
  • Desing work on energy efficiency in land use

Stage 3: Sustainability in cities (35h)


  • Water-energy nexus
  • Waste-to-energy technologies
  • Urban mobility
  • Backcasting

Own work:

  • Waste-to-energy calculation
  • Energy need for water services calculation
  • Urban mobility audit and calculation task
  • Desing task on city energy transition strategy

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the student

  • has an understanding of energy needs of building and cities
  • understands how the city structure influences the energy need of cities
  • is able explain the concepts for zero energy buildings and positive energy districts
  • can apply the psychometric chart and is able to size and select suitable heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies for different climate zones
  • can also apply energy modelling tools and is able to size building-integrated renewable energy technologies
  • is able to find synergies between energy and other critical services in cities.

Course material

Lecture slides and recommended reading provided on the course Moodle site.

Teaching schedule

Online course:

  • Pre-recorded video lectures
  • Learning tasks
  • Weekly tutorial sessions online/ on campus to provide guidance for the learning tasks and opportunity for consulting. The tutorial part of these sessions will be recorded, no mandatory attendance.

Completion methods

The course is based on self-learning and learning by doing. Planning and calculation exercises, supported by the video lectures and tutorials.

Total work load 135 h, of which 15 guided sessions and 120 h of independent studies, including about 20 h worth of video materials.

Grading of the learning tasks, calculation and sizing exercises.

More information in the University of Oulu study guide.

You can get a digital badge after completing this course.

Responsible teacher

University of Oulu
Eva Pongrácz, Professor

Contact person for applications

FITech Network University
Fanny Qvickström, Student services specialist
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Applications and technologies of energy storages,
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0 €
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Host university:
University of Oulu
Who can apply:
Adult learner,
Degree student
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General prerequisites:
Bachelor level studies in engineering.
Course suitable for:
Master's students of either process, environmental, energy or construction engineering. PhD students also welcome to participate.
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