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Unit information: Energy Management in 2020/21

Unit name Energy Management
Unit code EENGM7031
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Stark
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit on electrical energy management is built up from short bursts of theory followed by longer in-class activities involving pen-and-paper analysis and design examples. These practical activities put previous learning and new concepts into context of renewable energy generation and power usage. The course activities are chosen to help students assess the application ranges of electrical, fluid-mechanical, and optical theories, to communicate how our national energy system works, and to develop a quantitative insight into the future of our energy supply and usage. Emphasis is placed on solving short design examples yourself, thus gaining hands-on, up-to-date, practical, broad but quantitative understanding of our energy production and usage.

The subject matter focuses on sustainable generation and efficient usage of energy. This includes the interfacing with renewable power systems and the functions that are required to manage these, but not the component-level detail of the associated electrics. The course is designed for EEE and General Engineering programmes where at least some electrical content is taught. Prior knowledge of specific electrical subjects such as power electronics or control theory is not required. The syllabus covers the front-end technologies such as solar power converters, wind turbines, marine and hydropower generators, and “clean” finite fuel technologies. A selection of these technologies are investigated in depth, by going into the detail of the sources’ mechanical and electrical characteristics, the modelling of these, and their incorporation into electrical systems. This includes the fluid mechanics of turbines and electrical characteristics of photovoltaic systems. In addition, the course addresses energy storage technologies, and methods of controlling systems with variable input and output power.

Intended learning outcomes

Having completed this unit, students will be able to:

1. Compare different types finite and renewable generation systems, quantitatively in terms of power, financial viability, and carbon footprint, and construct energy balance charts;
2. Quantify personal, national, and global power usage and generation trends, with some degree of itemisation, and compare these to the natural energy flow cycle;
3. Evaluate hydro-power and wind power converters using fluid mechanics equations, whilst explaining the physical models, including their assumptions and limitations;
4. Propose technical operating methods for non-continuous generation from finite and renewable sources;
5. Estimate power available in renewable and finite energy sources, using fluid, thermodynamic, and chemical equations;
6. Derive output power from renewable power plant as a function of statistical source data, with correct use of technical terms and units;
7. Graphically illustrate air and water flow conversion techniques;
8. Propose improved solar power systems using an understanding of the conversion principles, optical physics, thermodynamics, work fluid properties and operating techniques;
9. Approximate electrical characteristics of photovoltaic and related components, and their circuits;
10. Demonstrate graphically and mathematically, the benefits of power electronics, storage, and control, and decide on suitable electrical systems for specific generation scenarios;
11. Design photovoltaic roof-top systems and compute their financial viability;
12. Map power onto CO2 emissions, and draw conclusions;
13. Propose operating techniques that address power variability on the grid.

In all ILOs, it will be important to decide on simplifying assumptions, and critically debate their use.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

Formative: Online Test 1

Summative: Timed Assessment (Jan) (100%)

Reading and References

Compulsory reading: Chapters 1-8 excluding Chapter 4 of Andrews & Jelley, Energy Science, Oxford University Press, 3rd Edition, 2017. ISBN 9780198755814