Energy Technologies for Agro-Industry


The goal of this course is to provide students with knowledge and tools that allow them understand, evaluate and intervene in the selection of energy technologies in the agro-industry sector.
In the end of the course, students should have acquired knowledge, skills and competences that allow:
- Understand power and energy concepts, in a perspective of electric and thermal generation.
- Be able to analyze the energy context to which they belong and the corresponding legislative framework.
- Get familiar with electric and thermal technologies for energy production, storage and recovery, and evaluate application examples in the agro-industrial sector.
- Be able to select previous technologies for specific applications, based on production estimates and technical and economical viability studies.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Miguel Murta Pina


Weekly - 10

Total - 48

Teaching language



Knowledge of mathematics and physics at the level of a master course in engineering.


FAO, "Opportunities For Agri-Food Chains To Become Energy-Smart" (2015),

Masters, Gilbert M., Renewable and efficient electric power systems, Wiley-IEEE Press; 2nd edition (2013)

E. Sá e Silva, M. Queirós, Análise de Investimentos em Ativos Reais, Vida Económica Editorial (2013) - In Portuguese

“Solar Heat for Industry”, Projeto Solar Payback Project,

Planning and Installing Solar Thermal Systems: A Guide for Installers, Architects and Engineers”, German Solar Energy Society (DGS), (GREENPRO Project)

Teaching method

The distinct concepts, techniques and theories are explained by the lecturer with the support of slides and demonstrators available in FCT/UNL, with which students execute laboratory or demonstration activities. These are prepared for the classes by the lecturer, and the latter allow verifying or analysing distinct behaviours and operation regimes.
Students assess their skills through semiautonomous resolution of sets of problems, available in the slides, as well as small projects related with the subjects.

Evaluation method

The continuous assessment is based on the grades of three tests, T1 to T2, where the final grade is obtained by the arithmetic mean grade of those tests (rounded to units).

T3 test has a minimum grade of 8/20.

If students fail in the continuous assessment, they should be approved on the final exam.

Subject matter

Introduction and basic concepts: basic concepts of electrotechnics and thermodynamics.

Legal framework of renewable electricity production.

Photovoltaic solar energy: Grid connected, stand-alone and direct connected (water pumping) systems; greenhouse integration; energy production estimate.

Solar thermal energy: water heater technologies; system topologies in agro-industrial applications.

Combined heat and power: simultaneous production of thermal and electric power, trigeneration; types of systems; renewable fuels.

Efficient lighting and energy efficiency: luminotechnics, LEDs, energy efficiency.

Energy storage and recovery: batteries; hydrogen and fuel cells; heat recovery.


Programs where the course is taught: