KB6010 - Low Carbon Thermal Systems

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What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about thermal systems for the generation of low carbon heat and electrical power in buildings focusing on combined heat and power systems and heat pump systems. You will review the thermodynamic theories involved followed by the application of these theories to practical system options for buildings, and then go on to learn how to analyse the economics of these systems in use.
You will study combined heat and power (CHP) system thermodynamic cycles; the capacity-rating and economics of CHP systems for a range of building applications; biomass gasification and processing, biomass boilers and biomass heating economics. You will explore high temperature heat network design, pressurisation and antiflash margins and expansion mitigation measures. You will also look at heat pump thermodynamic cycles and the capacity-rating, integration, thermal storage and economics of heat pump systems.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, problem-solving workshops, practical laboratory investigations and independent learning. The lectures will cover thermodynamics theories, system design methods and the use of economic metrics to enable you to carry out guided problem-solving exercises of relevance to current practice. You will work through these during problem-solving workshops and laboratory investigations. The problem-solving scenarios will be selected from current examples of the successful application of low carbon thermal systems in buildings around the world in which results can be verified and validated so that you will acquire confidence as you learn and develop analytical skills. As each topic proceeds, students will be directed to a range of problem solving scenarios for tutor-guided independent learning. Northumbria’s Low Carbon System Laboratory will be used to support a ‘hands-on’ learning experience to underpin your theoretical treatment of these systems together with a field visit to nearby biomass district heating plant.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided by tutors during problem-solving workshops and during practical laboratory investigations. These informal guided learning periods will enable tutors to mingle with students in order to help them either with individual questions or queries arising from small groups of students. Model solutions to tutor-guided independent learning case studies will be periodically uploaded to the University’s eLearning Portal (eLP) so that feedback can be obtained and students will be encouraged to raise questions and to make suggestions on these avenues of independent learning on the eLP discussion board so that the whole group can benefit.

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?

You will be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:
MLO1 Defend your selection of appropriate low carbon system types for any given application.
MLO2 Identify and describe balance of system components to form complete low carbon system design solutions.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MLO3 Critically analyse low carbon system performances using established regulations and methods (e.g. Microgeneration Certification Scheme).
MLO4 Critically select economic appraisal metrics and use them to analyse low carbon system economics with the support of the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
MLO5 Explain the role of low carbon thermal systems in reducing fuel poverty and helping to alleviate global warming.

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment: An examination (70% weighting) will be used to test your ability to analyse and evaluate systems [MLO 1,2,3,4,5]. A coursework element (30% weighting) will be used comprising an extended laboratory practical experience in order to develop practical skills and underpin the theoretical knowledge gained in lectures. The extended practical will include a ‘hands-on’ quantitative data gathering element as well as a qualitative review of system attributes and design, leading to a substantial report on plant performance including a critical appraisal of an installation [MLO 3,4,5].
Formative assessment will take place during problem-solving workshops and during the laboratory practical. The formative engagement will involve students on an individual and small-group basis. Formative feedback shall be delivered verbally during these sessions. Formative feedback on coursework shall be provided to the whole class after submission of the work.
Written summative feedback shall be provided on completion of the coursework and examination components.





Module abstract

Low carbon thermal systems, comprising heat pumps, combined heat and power systems and biomass heating, are key technologies for the delivery of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 as demanded by the EU as well as many other developed countries. You will learn how to apply basic thermodynamic theory to these systems and then use the results to make design decisions regarding system choice and capacity-ratings matched to building loads, as well as to be able to analyse the economics in use. You will acquire knowledge and skills which are in high demand by consulting engineers and low carbon systems installers as well as to contribute to reducing fuel poverty and reducing global warming.
Tutorial problems for you to work on in your independent study time are designed to reinforce and support your in class learning journey. Addtionally, Northumbria’s Low Carbon System Laboratory will be used to support a ‘hands-on’ learning experience to underpin your theoretical treatment of these systems together with a field visit to nearby biomass district heating plant.
Your new knowledge and skills acquired in this module will be assessed by an examination (70%) and a coursework report (30%).

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years part-time

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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