Energy Systems Technology

There is increased demand for technicians and operators with robust electrical, mechanical, and bio-chemical skills and knowledge. Graduates of the Energy Systems Technology degree program are in high demand by public works, power generation, food & beverage processing, pulp & paper milling, manufacturing, agriculture, irrigation, and renewable energy operations!

To complete the AAS degree in Energy Systems Technology, students first complete a one-year electrical core course sequence, and then specialize in one or more of four concentrations that provide opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills needed to:

  • Calculate, measure, and process a variety of materials to generate high value products, including: electricity, bioproducts, treated water, crops, foods & beverages, paper products, and renewable energy;
  • Monitor, adjust, and control equipment to ensure optimal performance, including: turbines, pumps, valves, gates, fans, controllers, filters, conveyors, emitters, drones, robots, and instruments; and
  • Troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair/replace wiring and mechanical equipment safely using testing devices and power tools.

A grade of C or higher is needed for EST students in all of their required courses and related instruction. A grade of C or higher indicates the student is gaining the bulk of the intended learning outcomes for each course and is in good standing to proceed in their EST course sequence. EST students will be asked to retake any courses in which a grade of C or higher is not achieved.

Courses

  • EST 100 Refrigeration Basics
    Course will provide basic understanding of the laws of physics which are applicable to the refrigeration industry. Students will be taught refrigerant recovery, evacuation, and charging techniques in addition to the safe use of temperature meters and gauge manifolds. Students will prepare for and take their Federal EPA-608 Technician Certification Exam during this course.
  • EST 103 Introduction to Wind Energy
    Covers fundamentals of wind energy focusing on wind production practices for all sizes of turbines, power distribution, and net metering. Recommended: READ 088 or higher, CS 100.
  • EST 104 Intro to Water, Engineering, Energy, and Agriculture
    Provides undecided high school and adult students with basic labs in water, engineering, energy, and agriculture. Topics include water chemistry, fluid dynamics, digital multi-meter use, and the identification of crops of regional significance. Workplace safety, basic shop procedures, tool identification, and proper use of personal protective equipment will be covered. Intended Audience: Current high school student, CAP student, undecided college student, or interested community member.
  • EST 106 Process Control Instrumentation and Troubleshooting
    Learn how to manually and automatically control a process loop using a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller, feedback gauges and sensors, and a final control element. Math skills and knowledge of how to use a digital multimeter (DMM) are required. This course is a prerequisite for EST 285: Advanced Instrumentation and SCADA. Prerequisites: OCSUP 107 and EST 133 or instructor permission.
  • EST 108 Materials, Fasteners, and Raceways
    Learn to identify electrical materials and their applications. Students will classify, grade, and use fasteners, such as bolts, screws, and rivets. Proper torque values are explained. Provides training in electrical raceway types, tools, and procedures used in the electrical industry. Gain a working knowledge of appropriate tools and procedures in bending and installing various types of raceways in compliance with the NEC® and electrical safety.
  • EST 110 Refrigeration Components
    This course covers the mechanical equipment used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. Students will be introduced to the proper troubleshooting techniques and practice using those techniques to repair this equipment. The proper application and repair of evaporators, condensers, compressors, expansion devices, and special components will be studied and practiced. Prerequisite: EST 100 or 101; or instructor permission.
  • EST 115 Industrial Mechanics
    This course addresses the needs of the multi-crafted maintenance technician and presents an all-encompassing view of the field of industrial maintenance, which covers a variety of technical skill areas. These include, but are not limited to safety, mechanical installation, fasteners and torque, fluid power, piping systems, power transmission, shaft alignment, vibration analysis, and print reading.
  • EST 131 Principles of Electricity Theory
    Introduction to electrical theory and terminology, electrical safety, direct current (DC), electrical energy sources, conductors, resistance, circuit types, Ohm's law, circuit calculations and measuring instruments, magnetism, alternating current (AC) single and three phase generation and circuits, and introduction to the National Electrical Code.
  • EST 132 Principles of Electricity AC Application
    Provides a practical application of alternating current (AC) generation and operational circuits. Typical wiring practices of single and three phase wiring of plugs, receptacles, lighting, panel, disconnects, conduit, capacitors, power and control transformers, DC generators, AC alternators, an introduction to DC and AC motors. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in EST 131 or instructor permission.
  • EST 133 Introduction to Controls
    Electrical safety and introduces control principles, operation, symbols & electrical diagrams, wiring, adjustment, and testing procedures for pressure, temperature, level and flow controls used in application of operational and safety controls of all industries. Manual, electric-mechanical, mechanical-electric and electronic controls will be covered. Prerequisite: EST 131, or grade of C or higher in EST 132, or instructor permission.
  • EST 145 Industrial Safety & Material Handling
    This course provides students with training and practice to develop competencies in industrial safety and material handling. Students will be trained in the safe operation of industrial fork lifts and aerial lifts (not all sites). Students will complete OSHA-10 general and construction training modules (third party certification not provided). Students will complete additional workplace safety modules to develop personal and equipment safety skills and knowledge in an industrial environment. Techniques for safely lifting and moving loads of various shapes, sizes, and types with an overhead crane will be covered and opportunities for practice provided. Also covered is tooling, hand and radio signals, safety around equipment, and equipment operation.
  • EST 150 Electric Motors and Motor Maintenance
    This course teaches electrical and motor safety, motor applications and characteristics, installation, operation, performance, maintenance, and repair of all AC and DC series motors. Wiring for wye and delta applications is also covered. Electronically Commutated Motors (ECM) will be included in the instruction. NEMA and NEC codes will be applied for motor installation, operations, and maintenance. Other topics will include nameplate data, torque, efficiency, connections, reversing rotation, and instruments used for motor maintenance and testing. Prerequisite: EST 131 or grade of C or higher in EST 132; or instructor permission.
  • EST 159 Hydraulics and Pneumatics
    Explores the basic principles of hydraulic and pneumatic systems, industry terminology, mechanical symbols, system components, energy and personal safety, completing calculations, review of operations and maintenance. Recommended: EST 100.
  • EST 175 Tower Rescue and Climbing Competency
    Provides students with the knowledge and skill sets needed to be able to ascend a wind turbine tower, work on the unit, descend the unit, and perform self-rescue and partner rescue in emergency conditions. This is a two day course which exceeds the minimum requirements set by OSHA and NIOSH for the tower erection industry. Prerequisite: Must be enrolled in the Wind Energy Technology program.
  • EST 202 Bio-Chemical Conversion
    The conversion of agricultural/forestry materials (biomass), organics (food and yard wastes, and dairy manure), and other solid wastes (from landfills or wastewater treatment plants) into value-added products is of significant interest today. Technologies that harness microbes to convert these materials can be deployed in many different industries to produce clean water, biogas and biomethane, renewable fuels and chemicals, heat, electricity, and soil amendment products. After some measure of pre-treatment, the lignocellulosic fabric of woody biomass is liberated into easier to use sugar units. For thousands of years, microbes have been fed sugars to produce fermented beverage and food products, and more recently, pharmaceuticals. We will review the structure of lignocellulosic biomass. The course will feature labs to produce, monitor, and analyze the fermentation and anaerobic digestion processes and their products.
  • EST 203 Applied Controls and Operations
    This is a capstone course for many of the EST pathways that students take in their final spring quarter. Students will have the opportunity to "own" a piece of electrical-mechanical equipment and/or process for the entire quarter. They will revise and/or generate a standard operating procedure, operate and perform maintenance on the electrical-mechanical equipment, and generate lesson plans for demonstrations they will lead for other students, faculty, staff, and/or the public. Each student will make at least four group presentations during the quarter. Students will monitor their process and be graded on each demonstration based on a rubric refined by the instructor and peers. Students will be responsible for keeping their electrical-mechanical sites safe and clean.
  • EST 225 Commercial Air Conditioning Systems
    This course explores commercial air conditioning systems. Topics will include high-pressure and absorption chillers. Cooling towers, pumps, package rooftop units, variable refrigerant flow, and variable air volume systems will also be covered. Training will focus on the operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of these systems and components.
  • EST 234 Survey of Technical Equipment for Processing (STEP)
    Students will gain familiarity with equipment, processes, and labs used in the Bio-products and allied industries. Course is largely hands-on in nature as students gain experience on a variety of training equipment. Two eight-hour sessions per week for four weeks.
  • EST 235 Introduction to Solar PV and Applications
    The fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant design and installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems will be covered with a focus on grid-direct solar electric systems. The core concepts necessary to work with all PV systems, including system components, site analysis, PV module criteria, mounting solutions, safety, and commissioning will be taught. Prerequisite: EST 132
  • EST 240 Intro to Basic Electronics
    Introduction to solid-state theory and basic electronic components. Students will study solid-state theory, operation, and testing of solid-state components and devices to include diodes, thermistors, transducers, photocells, transistor, SCR, Diac, Triac, SS relays, photoelectric and proximity controls. Prerequisite: EST 131 and grade of C or higher in EST 132, or instructor permission.
  • EST 250 Programmable Logic Controllers
    Students will begin to gain an understanding of terminology, components, programming, interfacing and operation of PLC controls. Then, the course turns to more advanced skills by describing PLC orientation, operations, programming languages, and integrated architecture. It covers PLC programming, PLC memory organization, PLC programming software and PLC program analysis. This course also focuses on troubleshooting by discussing levels of troubleshooting in PLC systems, power supplies, and inputs/outputs. Skills also discussed include event sequencing, application development, program control instructions, and math ad data move instructions. Integrated architecture is convergence of control and information for plant-wide optimization and builder performance. Integrated architecture delivers plant wide optimization, machine builder performance, and sustainable production and serves as a foundation to help you improve productivity with better asset utilization and system performance, promote globalization with easy access to actionable, plant-wide information, support sustainability with extended product life cycles and better asset utilization, and cultivate innovation with increased system flexibility and technical risk mitigation. Prerequisite: EST 133 or instructor permission. Recommend: CS 100 or 110.
  • EST 252 Principles of Power Generation and Distribution
    Introduction to the common components and applications of electrical generation and distribution systems. The operation and maintenance of those systems will also be covered. Prerequisite: EST 132 or instructor permission.
  • EST 255 Direct Digital Controls
    In Direct Digital Controls (DDCs), students will gain an understanding of the terminology, components, programming, functions, interfacing, and operation in building automation and energy management. DDCs are used to monitor and manage discrete or integrated electrical, fire alarm/suppression, water, climate control, communication, and security systems in buildings and across facilities. Students will create a working function block program that will include the use of digital and analog controls. The use of counters, timers, compare and mathematic calculations will also be covered. Prerequisite: EST 133 or instructor permission. Recommend: CS 100 or CS 110 and/or EST 250.
  • EST 260 Introduction to the National Electrical Code
    Course introduces student to the National Electrical Code (NEC), and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), and Revised Code of Washington (RCW) as it relates to the electrical industry to familiarize students with legal code and electrical safety. May be taken as a preparation of industry technicians preparing to take the certification exam.
  • EST 263 Commercial Heating and Boiler Systems
    This course covers electric heat and heat pump technology for air-to-air, geothermal water-to-air, water-to-water heat pump, and natural gas furnace systems. Students will learn installation, electrical components, operation, maintenance, service, and repair of electric heat pumps. An introduction to solar hydronic heating systems will also be included. Hydronic boilers for residential, light maintenance, and troubleshooting of these systems will be taught.
  • EST 265 Commercial Refrigeration
    This course explores design and operational requirements of low and medium temperature commercial refrigeration systems. It provides a basic understanding of typical commercial and supermarket refrigeration systems with emphasis on operation and system analysis to determine faults. Prerequisite: EST 110 or instructor permission.
  • EST 270 Wind Power Plant Operations and Advanced Mechanical Systems
    This course is an introduction to various fundamentals of the Wind Power Plant Operations, including daily routines, process and paperwork, management styles, and customer service skills. It will also cover wind turbine troubleshooting, and advanced/large mechanical systems repair.
  • EST 285 Advanced Instrumentation and PLCs
    Electrical safety and advanced control principles are covered in this course with a strong emphasis on instrumentation, input/output calibration, wiring, and PID loop control. Students control level and flow in a process by using instruments (i.e. sensors) -- used in the processing and manufacturing industries - to gain feedback to inform settings and outputs on a PID controller and downstream instruments. This course also builds on the topics covered in EST 250 Programmable Logic Controllers, i.e. troubleshooting, event sequencing, application development, program control instructions, and math and data move instructions. This course will culminate in the application of skills covered in EST 106 and EST 250 to demonstrate PLC control of our Process Level and Flow training equipment. Prerequisites: EST 106 and EST 250, or instructor permission.
  • EST 291 Cooperative Training
    Opportunity to gain work experience in an Energy related role as agreed upon by the employer, student and instructor. Students will utilize skills and knowledge learned in previous quarters. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.

Courses

Courses

  • EST 100 Refrigeration Basics
    Course will provide basic understanding of the laws of physics which are applicable to the refrigeration industry. Students will be taught refrigerant recovery, evacuation, and charging techniques in addition to the safe use of temperature meters and gauge manifolds. Students will prepare for and take their Federal EPA-608 Technician Certification Exam during this course.
  • EST 103 Introduction to Wind Energy
    Covers fundamentals of wind energy focusing on wind production practices for all sizes of turbines, power distribution, and net metering. Recommended: READ 088 or higher, CS 100.
  • EST 104 Intro to Water, Engineering, Energy, and Agriculture
    Provides undecided high school and adult students with basic labs in water, engineering, energy, and agriculture. Topics include water chemistry, fluid dynamics, digital multi-meter use, and the identification of crops of regional significance. Workplace safety, basic shop procedures, tool identification, and proper use of personal protective equipment will be covered. Intended Audience: Current high school student, CAP student, undecided college student, or interested community member.
  • EST 106 Process Control Instrumentation and Troubleshooting
    Learn how to manually and automatically control a process loop using a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller, feedback gauges and sensors, and a final control element. Math skills and knowledge of how to use a digital multimeter (DMM) are required. This course is a prerequisite for EST 285: Advanced Instrumentation and SCADA. Prerequisites: OCSUP 107 and EST 133 or instructor permission.
  • EST 108 Materials, Fasteners, and Raceways
    Learn to identify electrical materials and their applications. Students will classify, grade, and use fasteners, such as bolts, screws, and rivets. Proper torque values are explained. Provides training in electrical raceway types, tools, and procedures used in the electrical industry. Gain a working knowledge of appropriate tools and procedures in bending and installing various types of raceways in compliance with the NEC® and electrical safety.
  • EST 110 Refrigeration Components
    This course covers the mechanical equipment used in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. Students will be introduced to the proper troubleshooting techniques and practice using those techniques to repair this equipment. The proper application and repair of evaporators, condensers, compressors, expansion devices, and special components will be studied and practiced. Prerequisite: EST 100 or 101; or instructor permission.
  • EST 115 Industrial Mechanics
    This course addresses the needs of the multi-crafted maintenance technician and presents an all-encompassing view of the field of industrial maintenance, which covers a variety of technical skill areas. These include, but are not limited to safety, mechanical installation, fasteners and torque, fluid power, piping systems, power transmission, shaft alignment, vibration analysis, and print reading.
  • EST 131 Principles of Electricity Theory
    Introduction to electrical theory and terminology, electrical safety, direct current (DC), electrical energy sources, conductors, resistance, circuit types, Ohm's law, circuit calculations and measuring instruments, magnetism, alternating current (AC) single and three phase generation and circuits, and introduction to the National Electrical Code.
  • EST 132 Principles of Electricity AC Application
    Provides a practical application of alternating current (AC) generation and operational circuits. Typical wiring practices of single and three phase wiring of plugs, receptacles, lighting, panel, disconnects, conduit, capacitors, power and control transformers, DC generators, AC alternators, an introduction to DC and AC motors. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in EST 131 or instructor permission.
  • EST 133 Introduction to Controls
    Electrical safety and introduces control principles, operation, symbols & electrical diagrams, wiring, adjustment, and testing procedures for pressure, temperature, level and flow controls used in application of operational and safety controls of all industries. Manual, electric-mechanical, mechanical-electric and electronic controls will be covered. Prerequisite: EST 131, or grade of C or higher in EST 132, or instructor permission.
  • EST 145 Industrial Safety & Material Handling
    This course provides students with training and practice to develop competencies in industrial safety and material handling. Students will be trained in the safe operation of industrial fork lifts and aerial lifts (not all sites). Students will complete OSHA-10 general and construction training modules (third party certification not provided). Students will complete additional workplace safety modules to develop personal and equipment safety skills and knowledge in an industrial environment. Techniques for safely lifting and moving loads of various shapes, sizes, and types with an overhead crane will be covered and opportunities for practice provided. Also covered is tooling, hand and radio signals, safety around equipment, and equipment operation.
  • EST 150 Electric Motors and Motor Maintenance
    This course teaches electrical and motor safety, motor applications and characteristics, installation, operation, performance, maintenance, and repair of all AC and DC series motors. Wiring for wye and delta applications is also covered. Electronically Commutated Motors (ECM) will be included in the instruction. NEMA and NEC codes will be applied for motor installation, operations, and maintenance. Other topics will include nameplate data, torque, efficiency, connections, reversing rotation, and instruments used for motor maintenance and testing. Prerequisite: EST 131 or grade of C or higher in EST 132; or instructor permission.
  • EST 159 Hydraulics and Pneumatics
    Explores the basic principles of hydraulic and pneumatic systems, industry terminology, mechanical symbols, system components, energy and personal safety, completing calculations, review of operations and maintenance. Recommended: EST 100.
  • EST 175 Tower Rescue and Climbing Competency
    Provides students with the knowledge and skill sets needed to be able to ascend a wind turbine tower, work on the unit, descend the unit, and perform self-rescue and partner rescue in emergency conditions. This is a two day course which exceeds the minimum requirements set by OSHA and NIOSH for the tower erection industry. Prerequisite: Must be enrolled in the Wind Energy Technology program.
  • EST 202 Bio-Chemical Conversion
    The conversion of agricultural/forestry materials (biomass), organics (food and yard wastes, and dairy manure), and other solid wastes (from landfills or wastewater treatment plants) into value-added products is of significant interest today. Technologies that harness microbes to convert these materials can be deployed in many different industries to produce clean water, biogas and biomethane, renewable fuels and chemicals, heat, electricity, and soil amendment products. After some measure of pre-treatment, the lignocellulosic fabric of woody biomass is liberated into easier to use sugar units. For thousands of years, microbes have been fed sugars to produce fermented beverage and food products, and more recently, pharmaceuticals. We will review the structure of lignocellulosic biomass. The course will feature labs to produce, monitor, and analyze the fermentation and anaerobic digestion processes and their products.
  • EST 203 Applied Controls and Operations
    This is a capstone course for many of the EST pathways that students take in their final spring quarter. Students will have the opportunity to "own" a piece of electrical-mechanical equipment and/or process for the entire quarter. They will revise and/or generate a standard operating procedure, operate and perform maintenance on the electrical-mechanical equipment, and generate lesson plans for demonstrations they will lead for other students, faculty, staff, and/or the public. Each student will make at least four group presentations during the quarter. Students will monitor their process and be graded on each demonstration based on a rubric refined by the instructor and peers. Students will be responsible for keeping their electrical-mechanical sites safe and clean.
  • EST 225 Commercial Air Conditioning Systems
    This course explores commercial air conditioning systems. Topics will include high-pressure and absorption chillers. Cooling towers, pumps, package rooftop units, variable refrigerant flow, and variable air volume systems will also be covered. Training will focus on the operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of these systems and components.
  • EST 234 Survey of Technical Equipment for Processing (STEP)
    Students will gain familiarity with equipment, processes, and labs used in the Bio-products and allied industries. Course is largely hands-on in nature as students gain experience on a variety of training equipment. Two eight-hour sessions per week for four weeks.
  • EST 235 Introduction to Solar PV and Applications
    The fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant design and installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems will be covered with a focus on grid-direct solar electric systems. The core concepts necessary to work with all PV systems, including system components, site analysis, PV module criteria, mounting solutions, safety, and commissioning will be taught. Prerequisite: EST 132
  • EST 240 Intro to Basic Electronics
    Introduction to solid-state theory and basic electronic components. Students will study solid-state theory, operation, and testing of solid-state components and devices to include diodes, thermistors, transducers, photocells, transistor, SCR, Diac, Triac, SS relays, photoelectric and proximity controls. Prerequisite: EST 131 and grade of C or higher in EST 132, or instructor permission.
  • EST 250 Programmable Logic Controllers
    Students will begin to gain an understanding of terminology, components, programming, interfacing and operation of PLC controls. Then, the course turns to more advanced skills by describing PLC orientation, operations, programming languages, and integrated architecture. It covers PLC programming, PLC memory organization, PLC programming software and PLC program analysis. This course also focuses on troubleshooting by discussing levels of troubleshooting in PLC systems, power supplies, and inputs/outputs. Skills also discussed include event sequencing, application development, program control instructions, and math ad data move instructions. Integrated architecture is convergence of control and information for plant-wide optimization and builder performance. Integrated architecture delivers plant wide optimization, machine builder performance, and sustainable production and serves as a foundation to help you improve productivity with better asset utilization and system performance, promote globalization with easy access to actionable, plant-wide information, support sustainability with extended product life cycles and better asset utilization, and cultivate innovation with increased system flexibility and technical risk mitigation. Prerequisite: EST 133 or instructor permission. Recommend: CS 100 or 110.
  • EST 252 Principles of Power Generation and Distribution
    Introduction to the common components and applications of electrical generation and distribution systems. The operation and maintenance of those systems will also be covered. Prerequisite: EST 132 or instructor permission.
  • EST 255 Direct Digital Controls
    In Direct Digital Controls (DDCs), students will gain an understanding of the terminology, components, programming, functions, interfacing, and operation in building automation and energy management. DDCs are used to monitor and manage discrete or integrated electrical, fire alarm/suppression, water, climate control, communication, and security systems in buildings and across facilities. Students will create a working function block program that will include the use of digital and analog controls. The use of counters, timers, compare and mathematic calculations will also be covered. Prerequisite: EST 133 or instructor permission. Recommend: CS 100 or CS 110 and/or EST 250.
  • EST 260 Introduction to the National Electrical Code
    Course introduces student to the National Electrical Code (NEC), and the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), and Revised Code of Washington (RCW) as it relates to the electrical industry to familiarize students with legal code and electrical safety. May be taken as a preparation of industry technicians preparing to take the certification exam.
  • EST 263 Commercial Heating and Boiler Systems
    This course covers electric heat and heat pump technology for air-to-air, geothermal water-to-air, water-to-water heat pump, and natural gas furnace systems. Students will learn installation, electrical components, operation, maintenance, service, and repair of electric heat pumps. An introduction to solar hydronic heating systems will also be included. Hydronic boilers for residential, light maintenance, and troubleshooting of these systems will be taught.
  • EST 265 Commercial Refrigeration
    This course explores design and operational requirements of low and medium temperature commercial refrigeration systems. It provides a basic understanding of typical commercial and supermarket refrigeration systems with emphasis on operation and system analysis to determine faults. Prerequisite: EST 110 or instructor permission.
  • EST 270 Wind Power Plant Operations and Advanced Mechanical Systems
    This course is an introduction to various fundamentals of the Wind Power Plant Operations, including daily routines, process and paperwork, management styles, and customer service skills. It will also cover wind turbine troubleshooting, and advanced/large mechanical systems repair.
  • EST 285 Advanced Instrumentation and PLCs
    Electrical safety and advanced control principles are covered in this course with a strong emphasis on instrumentation, input/output calibration, wiring, and PID loop control. Students control level and flow in a process by using instruments (i.e. sensors) -- used in the processing and manufacturing industries - to gain feedback to inform settings and outputs on a PID controller and downstream instruments. This course also builds on the topics covered in EST 250 Programmable Logic Controllers, i.e. troubleshooting, event sequencing, application development, program control instructions, and math and data move instructions. This course will culminate in the application of skills covered in EST 106 and EST 250 to demonstrate PLC control of our Process Level and Flow training equipment. Prerequisites: EST 106 and EST 250, or instructor permission.
  • EST 291 Cooperative Training
    Opportunity to gain work experience in an Energy related role as agreed upon by the employer, student and instructor. Students will utilize skills and knowledge learned in previous quarters. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.