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EEE3021 : Renewable Energy Systems and Smart Grids (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Sara Walker
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aim of this module is to introduce students to the fundamentals engineering principles of all major sources of renewable energy, including a detailed understanding of its conversion into electricity and subsequent distribution. Students will gain an overview of the engineering challenges of renewable energy production and a wider understanding of renewable energy in a societal context. The existing and future requirements of the distribution and transmission networks in relation to increased renewable and distributed generation will be covered, including development of the Smart Grid. The leading technologies in the field will be examined in detail, with a focus on electrical machine and power conversion requirements.

Outline Of Syllabus

The outline syllabus for this module is as follows:

• Energy picture: Put energy generation into context - general trend in energy consumption and present production.
• Resource understanding: Relative abundance of resource, national maximum resource of major renewable sources.
• Hydro power: Understanding of engineering behind the resource – large verses low head, run of river – turbine options, resource calculations, environmental constraints.
• Solar thermal and PV: Understanding of engineering behind the resource - understanding of basic physical processes, overview of economic viability.
• Wind engineering: Detailed understanding of engineering behind the resource – basic fluid dynamics – Betz limit. Components of typical state of the art wind turbine. Fixed speed versus variable speed, gearbox versus direct drive.
• Wave and Tidal power: Understanding of engineering behind the resource –challenges and state of the art.
• Social + economic context: Appreciation of importance of environmental legislation and other topics outside of the engineering discipline such as details of planning, consenting and financing.
• Barriers and costs derived from existing electrical infrastructure.
• Future grid development, including Smart Grid concepts.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Prep for oral exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion116:0016:00Revision for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:0024 hour on line problem solving (online Examination)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:0016 1hr lectures split over 8 weeks.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00On-line-non synch, split into 20 min sections
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading16:006:006 hours of directed reading. Includes IEEE papers and web references.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00Oral exam (each student gives 10 mins in a 1 hour session)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery61:006:00Drop in PIP session for discussion of coursework and exam questions (weeks 1,3,5,7,9,10,11)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study136:0036:00Personal study throughout teaching period to follow up taught classes.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures and module material provide core material and guidance for further reading. The module material also provides problem solving practice and improves planning skills and on-line and computer competences and gives the students the opportunity to manage their own learning. The hours of directed research is to give students practice assessing specific complex issues which will be discussed in the tutorials. The coursework develops research skills and the ability to utilise relevant information from different sources.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A6024 hour online assessment (written exam)
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
EEE8157Renewable Energy Systems and Smart Grids2N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination2M4010 min presentation to Lecturer + one other observer in front of five other students.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Aural Examination2MThe examination is an appropriate way to assess, knowledge, and understanding, and problem solving skills, across full breadth of mo
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination is an appropriate way to assess both theoretical knowledge and understanding and problem solving skills under time-constraint as required in industry. The presentation is further assessment of the coursework, but incorporates a student’s ability to orally set out a clear argument, draw conclusions and respond to questions.

Reading Lists