Skip to main content


EEE8157 : Renewable Energy Systems and Smart Grids

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Sara Walker
  • Lecturer: Dr Neal Wade
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim of this module is to introduce students to the fundamental 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 future. 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, including general trends national and international resources.
•       Hydro power, Solar, and Tidal: Understanding of physics and technology behind the resource
•       Wind and Wave: Detailed understanding of engineering behind the resource – basic fluid dynamics
– (Betz limit, resonance). Components of typical state of the art, engineering challenges
•       Social, ethical, and 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 due to existing electrical infrastructure.
•       Roles of the transmission and distribution networks in providing reliable energy to end-users.
•       Implications of net-zero policies on the electricity supply system.
•       Future grid development, including network (asset reinforcement) and non-network (demand-side management, energy storage, real-time thermal ratings, active network management).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00On line assessment-
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00On-line-non synch, split into 20 min sections
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Coursework prep
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00Revision for exam.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Directed reading (coursework and exam)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture321:0032:00Lectures over 2 weeks (16 hrs weeks 1 and 16 hrs week 3 of course)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery61:006:00Drop in ZOOM session for discussion of coursework and exam questions (weeks 2,4)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study144:0044:00Personal 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. Directed research allows students to practice assessing specific complex issues which will be discussed in the drop in sessions. 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 Examination902A7024 hour online assessment (written exam)
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
EEE3021Renewable Energy Systems and Smart Grids2N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination2M30Oral Presentation
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Aural Examination2M10
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

he examination is an appropriate way to assess, knowledge and understanding, and problem solving skills, across full breadth of module content. The presentation evaluates a student’s ability to orally set out a clear argument, draw conclusions and respond to questions, for an element of module content, in depth. Formative assessment comprises 10 sets of tutorial questions.

Reading Lists