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Mechanical Power I

Course Number: RET 121
Transcript Title: Mechanical Power I
Created: March 15, 2012
Updated: December 19, 2014
Total Credits: 5
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 30
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0
Approved delivery mode:

Course Description

This course focuses on learning the fundamentals of mechanical power. It emphasizes learning the different mechanical components from nuts and bolts to gears, gear boxes, shafts and bearings. It demonstrates the importance of lubrication in maintaining gears and other movable parts. Basic alignment and mechanical physics are taught, including aerodynamics.

Intended Outcomes

Upon finishing this course, students will:

  1. Be prepared to take Mechanical Power II, which involves larger-scale mechanical construction using knowledge and experience gained from taking Mechanical Power I.
  2. Build and maintain mechanical and electrical equipment having movable parts.
  3. Troubleshoot mechanical problems.
  4. Work safely both alone and in a team.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Evaluation is done by midterm and final exams, quality of lab work and of a term project.

Texts and Materials

Bearing Technology:

  • FAG Rolling Bearings, Catalogue WI. 41 520/3 ED, 2000 Edition. FAG Bearings Sales Corporation, Danbury, CT.


  • Mott, Robert L., 2006, Applied Fluid Mechanics, 6th Edition. Merrill Publishing Co., Columbus, OH.
  • Smith, Jamie C., Ed., 2004, Fundamentals of Technology: Principles of Hydraulics. MB 400 Manual, 3rd Edition. TII Technical Education Systems, Mundelein, IL.


  • Bharat, Bushan, 2002, Introduction to Tribology. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.
  • A custom textbook will also be created consisting of selected chapters and articles from journal, manual, textbook, and Web resources, copied with publishers’ permission.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Description of different types of nuts and bolts, fasteners, propellers, bearings, and other pieces of machinery involved in the construction of wind turbines.
  • The importance of lubrication to reduce frictional wear of gears and other types of mechanical moving parts. This topic will review material covered in Hydraulics 120.
  • Introduction to bearing technology.
  • Descriptions of pressure gauges, intensifiers, hydraulic accumulators, pumps, and lubrication properties of petroleum-based fluids. This topic might be review material covered in Hydraulics 120.
  • Definitions of mathematical quantities such as scalar, vector, scientific notation, and frame of reference.
  • Definitions of physical quantities, such as linear force, momentum, and energy; angular velocity and momentum, torque, moment of inertia; and other quantities used to describe characteristics of wind turbine technology.
  • Physics of kinetic energy transfer from wind to propeller to electric turbine, and energy loss through mechanical friction and electrical resistance.
  • Basic aerodynamic concepts that govern how wind interacts with a turbine propeller.

Laboratory Equipment:

MB 300 Mechanisms System and Laboratory Manual