Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module ENGI30115: Renewable Energy Fundamentals

Department: Engineering

ENGI30115: Renewable Energy Fundamentals

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap
Tied to H1K609


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide students with a broad overview of the university and the research and development facilities avaliable to them during their study period.
  • To provide students with a solid grounding in the design, operation and characteristics of the key plant items in a power system.
  • To provide students with a basic grounding in thermodynamic theory in preparation for more advanced modules in the programme.
  • To provide students with a basic grounding in fluid mechanics theory in preparation for more advanced modules in the programme.
  • To provide students with a basic grounding in power electronics and converters in preparation for energy generation and conversion technologies module.
  • Introduce students to best practice research techniques.


  • Introduction: University, Library, Course Structure, Renewable Energy, Self Learning.
  • The students will be given an introduction to research methods which will be developed further during the research and development project.
  • A seminar will be provided covering best practice research techniques regarding literature surveys, project planning, referencing standards, data collection, analysis and interpretation.
  • Power System Plant: Cables, overhead lines, Transformers, Switchgear, Insulation, Induction Generator/Synchronous Generator Fundamentals.
  • Introduction to First Law.
  • Non flow and steady flow energy equations.
  • Intoduction to Second Law, entropy and irreversibility.
  • Thermal and isentropic efficiency.
  • T-S cycle diagrams.
  • Air standard cycles.
  • Introduction to fuels and their burning cahractoristics.
  • Cintinuity.
  • Momentum
  • Angular Momentum.
  • Bernouili's equation and steady flow energy equation.
  • Viscous flow.
  • Boundary layers.
  • Introduction to heat transfer.
  • Device Charactoristics.
  • Diode, thyristor, transistpr, IGBT.
  • Rectifiers.
  • Controlled uncontrolled.
  • Inverter topology.
  • Direct DC-DC and AC-AC converters.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understand the need/application for all types of power system plant. A1, B1.
  • Understand how cables and OH lines facilitate and affect power transfer. A1.
  • Understand differences between cables and overhead lines. A1.
  • Understand how transformers are designed, affect power transfer and are operated. A1, A3.
  • Understand the different types of protection, e.g. Fuses, Circuit Breakers, Oil Filled Switchgear, SF6 Switchgear and Vacuum Interrupters. A1, B1.
  • Understand insulation need, design and materials. A1, A3, B11.
  • Familiarity with concepts of energy and entropy. A1.
  • Understanding the fundamentals of engine cycles. A1.
  • Good understanding of fuels. A1.
  • The use of the equations of fluid dynamics. A1, C3.
  • An appreciation of the effects of fluid viscosity on a flow system. A1.
  • A sound understanding of the mechanisms of heat transfer. A1, C3.
  • Gain an understanding of the need for power electronics in renewable energy systems. A1.
  • Gain an understanding of power electronics fundamnetals. A1.
  • Understand and be able to apply best practice research techniques C8, B2, B4, C1.
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

      Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

      • Lectures and tutorial questions to cover the fundamental theories of new and renewable energy engineering.
      • Examinations to assess knowledge, understanding and application.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 62 daily over 3 week period 1 hour 62
      Tutorials 12 1 hour 12
      Preparation and Reading 76
      Total 150

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Continious Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Formal Laboratory Report 2weeks 20% Yes
      Thermodynamics Assignment 2 weeks 20% Yes
      Fluid Mechanics Assignment 2 week 20% Yes
      Power Electronics Assignment 2 weeks 20% Yes
      Power Plants Assignment 2 weeks 20% Yes

      Formative Assessment:

      Self assessed problem sheets.

      Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University