Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Engineering


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap None.
Tied to H1K609


  • As specified in programme regulations


  • As specified in programme regulations

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • As specified in programme regulations


  • This module is designed solely for students studying Department of Engineering degree programmes.
  • To provide an overview and describe the characteristics of renewable electrical power generation.
  • To explain the working principles of components for renewable electrical power generation.
  • To explain the technical, as well as economical, constraints and solutions of renewable power generation.
  • To introduce and familiarise students with analytical methods and simulation tools for component and system design studies.


  • Energy Overview.
  • Generators for wind power: induction generators, doubly fed induction generators, permanent magnet generators.
  • Converters for variable speed generation.
  • Control requirements from machine and grid points of view, and technical solutions.
  • Electromechanical interactions.
  • Electrical generation from other renewable or non-renewable sources.
  • Unusual generator and converter topologies.
  • Future energy systems
  • Metering and control of energy systems using ICT
  • Demand side management methods
  • Energy systems integration (multi-vector and virtual power plants)
  • Overview of power system operation
  • Fault analysis and protection systems.
  • Stability analysis and control.
  • Grid issues associated with grid penetration of renewable electrical power generation.
  • Overview of energy markets

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A knowledge of benefits and limitations of technologies currently used or being developed for renewable electrical power generation.
  • An appreciation of the impacts of increasing renewable electrical power generation on the existing infrastructure of electrical power systems.
  • A knowledge and understanding of the fundamental generator and power electronic technologies that are used for renewable electrical power generation.
  • An understanding of ways of component and system design for different and typical application scenarios.
  • A knowledge of modern design trends in the areas of energy generation and distribution.
  • A knowledge of how to carry out basic design calculations.
  • A knowledge of power system protection and fault calcuations
  • A knowledge of advanced smart grid technologies in future energy systems
  • A knowledge and understanding of energy markets within the UK and around the world
Subject-specific Skills:
  • An awareness of current technology, analysis methods and industrial practices along with the ability to apply those methods in novel situations.
  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of specialised and advanced technical and professional skills, an ability to perform critical assessment and review and an ability to communicate the results of their own work effectively.
Key Skills:
  • Capacity for independent self-learning within the bounds of professional practice.
  • Specialised numerical skills appropriate to an engineer.
  • Mathematics relevant to the application of advanced engineering concepts.

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

  • The module content is covered in lectures, and reinforced by problem sheets, leading to the required problem solving capability.
  • Students are able to make use of staff Tutorial Hours; to discuss any aspect of the module with teaching staff on a one-to-one basis. These are sign up sessions available for up to one hour per week per lecture course.
  • Written timed examinations are appropriate because of the wide range of analytical, in-depth material covered in this module and to demonstrate the ability to solve advanced problems independently.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 42 Typically 1 per week 1 Hour 42
Tutorial Hours As required Weekly sign-up sessions Up to 1 Hour 8
Preparation and Reading 150
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 50% No
Written Examination 2 hours 50% No

Formative Assessment:

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