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CME8055 : Energy sources and storage

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alasdair Charles
  • Lecturer: Professor Lidija Siller, Dr Stevin Pramana, Professor Adam Harvey
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module aims to provide students with an understanding of modern energy storage and handling systems from conventional batteries through photo-voltaics to fuel cells and bio-fuels. The topics will be illustrated with industrial and transport applications. Consideration of alternative and sustainable energy sources will be provided as well as discussion of efficiency and cost issues.

Outline Of Syllabus

"The development of energy storage technology will be explained starting with primary batteries and then secondary cells. Improvements and design requirements for rail and other transport uses will be discussed (eg. emergency lighting systems). Modern Li-ion, metal hydride (hydrogen storage), solid state and metal-air batteries will be described with links to their practical applications in transport and technological systems. The efficiency of systems and the concept of ‘smart batteries’ will be introduced.

The history of fuel cell development and the fundamental kinetics and chemical thermodynamics behind them are outlined. Their advantages and disadvantages are discussed and the various types (low, medium and high temperature) of cell will be introduced along with the material selection issues associated with their operation.

Developments in applications (including space travel) would be explained with reference to the change from hydrogen/oxygen cells to alkaline/PEM cells.
The current status and prospects for bio-fuel cells are also outlined.

Bio fuels – solid, liquid and gas sources. Production of bio-alcohols, bio-diesel and syngas. Applications in transport and development of green fuels.

Photo-voltaics to include fundamentals of solar cells, properties and design, single and multiple junction solar panels, semi-conducting materials for solar cells. Design of stand-alone systems, manufacturing routes and environmental impact of system development.

Alternative energy systems, thermoelectric systems, Peltier and Seebeck effects, thermoelectric materials (bismuth telluride, automotive thermoelectric generators and radioisotope power generators), thermoelectric refrigeration and heat pumps. Concepts in renewable energy will be discussed."

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion241:0024:00Assessment preparation formative exercises.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:302:30Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture361:0036:00A combination of mainly PiP (>50%) and non-synchronous on-line delivery.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Exam revision
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Synchronous online revision tutorials.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Synchronous PiP seminars.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1104:30104:30Review lecture notes and recommended texts as appropriate.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures are designed to assist the students in acquisition of a knowledge base that will facilitate an understanding of energy storage systems and their applications. Tutorial exercises will enable students to practice analysis of systems and match energy systems to particular applications.

Private study will strengthen their knowledge base and enable students to tackle the tutorial sheets with greater confidence.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1502A90N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M10Tutorial Exercises
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises2MProblem solving exercises - online
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge and understanding of new and traditional energy storage and sustainable generation systems is examined by a written paper. The take-home tutorial sheets enable the students to develop a deeper understanding of some aspects of the lectures and build their confidence in this subject area prior to the examination.

Reading Lists