KD4011 - Fundamentals of Energy Systems

What will I learn on this module?

This module introduces you to the fundamental concepts of energy and power. The underlying electrical engineering, physics and mathematics is illustrated using examples from electricity generation, distribution and storage. Focus is given to sources of sustainable energy amidst current concerns about climate change, finite natural resources and energy security.

Basic SI units. Kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion and force. Work, kinetic and potential energy, and power. Conservation of energy. Circular motion. Basic electromagnetism. Electric charge: conductors, insulators and semiconductors. Electric field. Electrostatic potential energy and potential. Magnetic field of an infinitely long straight wire, magnetic flux density. Forces on a current carrying conductor on a magnetic field. Electric motors. Force on charged particles in a magnetic field. Electromagnetic induction: Faraday’s law and Lenz’s law. Electric generator.

Three phase power and power electronic devices
Production of three-phase power. Phase and line voltages and currents in star and delta systems. Earthing on low-voltage systems. Measurements of three-phase power. Introduction to single-phase transformer: principle, construction, referring of impedances, losses and efficiency, and equivalent circuit. Power electronic switching devices: Rectifiers, MOSFET, transistor, IGBT, and thyristor. Single-phase rectifier circuits,

Power generation, energy efficiency and energy storage
Conventional power generation: gas and coal-fired power stations, combined heat and power, IGCC, nuclear power. Generating plant performance. Load curve and load factor. Fundamentals of power transmission and distribution. Wind energy and the Betz limit. Solar spectrum, p-n junction, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal. Introduction to marine technologies. Efficiency of renewable energy systems. Energy storage technologies.

How will I learn on this module?

A range of learning and teaching approaches are used in this module. Lectures and seminars are used to introduce fundamental physical and engineering principles in addition to the underlying mathematics. Example problems are heavily used to illustrate key concepts and develop valuable problem solving abilities. These examples become increasingly relevant to applications as the module progresses. You will have the opportunity to tackle problems in advance of seminar sessions which are used to review solutions in a group format. Seminars are also used to promote dialogue around the formative and summative assessments and to give feedback on performance. Laboratory work also forms an important part of the module and feedback on your laboratory notebooks is provided regularly.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

In addition to lectures and seminars, you are encouraged to discuss specific academic matters with the module team which operates an open door policy. Laboratory sessions also provide an informal environment in which you can engage with the module team individually or in small groups. Laboratory work typically occurs in small groups and you have the opportunity to benefit from discussions with your peers in addition to the module team.

Throughout the module, you will gain practical skills which are essential for subsequent levels and future work in the power industry.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate a broad understand of the concepts of energy and power (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. SM1m, EA1m, SM1m)
2. Knowledge and understanding of mathematical principles applied in energy and power (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. SM2m)
3. Describe the underlying principles which govern the operation of major energy generation technologies in industry (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. EP6m)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. Solve simple problems relating to electrical power generation, power systems and devices (UK-Spec 3rd Ed. EA1m, EA4m )

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Understanding of the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in energy and power (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. ET1m)

How will I be assessed?

1. Coursework (30%) – LO1, LO2
2. Examination (70%) – LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

1. Seminar problems - LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5
2. Tests - LO4

The Coursework component is comprised of an assessment of your laboratory notebooks focusing on the record of engineering practice. Written feedback is provided following each laboratory session thereby enabling you to progress and improve.

Feedback on tests and the examination is provided individually and in a plenary format both written and verbally to help you improve and promote dialogue around the assessment.





Module abstract

Energy and power are fundamentally important concepts in our lives. From power generation to consumer electronic devices, the race is on to drive down costs through efficiency and electrical and electronic engineers have a vital role to play. In addition to cost, we seek renewable and sustainable energy technologies amid concerns about climate change, security of supply and finite resources. In this module you have the opportunity to learn about the fundamental engineering, physical and mathematics principles that govern energy and power. This exposes you to macroscopic technology trends and places you in an excellent position to gain understanding of an industrially relevant sector. Furthermore, through key laboratory experiments you gain hands-on experience of technology that illustrates important concepts relating to energy and power.

Course info

UCAS Code H602

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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