Last Updated S022020


Unit Name Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution
Unit Code BEE204S
Unit Duration 1 Semester

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

Duration 3 years    

Year Level One or Two 
Unit Creator / Reviewer N/A
Core/Sub-discipline: Sub-discipline
Pre/Co-requisites BSC102C and BEE108S
Credit Points


Total Course Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload (Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week; 5 hours per week for 24 week delivery)
Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours
Tutorial – 1.5 hours
Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours
Personal Study recommended – 5 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective of this unit is to provide students with detailed knowledge of electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution. Information covered in this unit will include: energy sources and their application; equipment used in power generation; transmission lines and their parameters; and, distribution networks and their operation. Emphasis will be on maintaining the reliability of power supply and optimising resource usage. Students will also undertake a case study of planning the power distribution of an industrial facility applying the principles learnt to suit the local infrastructure and its constraints.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Explain power generation principles and generator theory.
    Bloom’s Level 2
  2. Compare and apply appropriate generation methods involving fossil or renewable energy sources for a given application.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  3. Describe AC and DC power transmission networks and overhead line parameters.
    Bloom’s Level 2
  4. Demonstrate a clear knowledge of power system studies and their goals.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  5. Explain the principles of network operation and control, the role of market operators, and the concept of smart grids to achieve network optimisation.
    Bloom’s Level 5
  6. Plan the power distribution system of an industrial facility and carry out the sizing of cables.
    Bloom’s Level 6

Student assessment

Assessment Type When assessed Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Power generation and generators.

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers to 30 questions to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of power generation and generators.

Due after Topic 4 15% 1, 2

Assessment 2 - mid-semester test

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Transmission and network operations.
Students will complete a test with about 20 questions each to be answered in less than 100 words and explanatory diagrams to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of transmission and distribution networks.

Due after Topic 10 20% 3, 4, 5

Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Report
Example Topic: Generators, transmission and distribution.
Students plan the power distribution system of an industrial facility and carry out the sizing of cables using software such as EasyPower.

Due after Topic 11 20% 6

Assessment 4

Type: Project

Example Topic: A project covering the application/ planning aspects of power generation, transmission, and distribution.

Final Week 40% 6

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Required textbook(s)

Singh, S. N. 2008 Electric Power Generation: Transmission & Distribution, 2nd Edition, PHI Learning, ISBN 978-8120335608

Reference Materials

Grisby L.L., 2012, Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution, CRC Press, ISBN 9781439856284 

Number of peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures).

Unit Content

Topics 1 and 2

Power generation basics, renewable, and non-renewable sources

1. Forms of energy and conversion
2. Thermal conversion cycles
3. Thermal power plants using combustion processes
4. Gas turbine/combined cycle generation
5. Engine generators
6. Nuclear energy and its constraints
7. Renewable sources and their importance in today’s context
8. Hydro-electric power generation
9. Cogeneration for better efficiency
10. Environmental hazards of non-renewable sources, particularly nuclear energy

Topic 3

Alternators: Theory, construction, and operation

1. AC generator theory
2. Load angle and stability
3. Alternator impedances
4. V-curves
5. Synchronising a generator and control behaviour when operating in parallel to an infinite grid
6. Construction of alternators, cooling, excitation

Topics 4 and 5

Power transmission networks, configuration, and overhead transmission lines

1. Need for power transmission networks
2. AC and DC transmission - brief comparison
3. Transmission through overhead lines
4. Various types of towers and conductor configurations
5. Overhead line parameters
6. Need for transposition of conductors
7. Ferranti effect in long transmission lines
8. Overhead line design, span, sag calculations, route survey
9. Insulators and insulation coordination
10. Surge impedance of lines

Topic 6

Power system studies

1. Objectives of power system studies
2. Short circuit study
3. Sequence components and application in short circuit calculations
4. Load flow and voltage profile
5. Stability studies and improvement
6. Harmonic flow and control

Topics 7 and 8

Network operation, voltage and power factor control, reliability indicators and improvement

1. Network operation-control and reliability
2. Reasons for network failures and addressing root causes
3. Reliability indicators
4. Remote operation-imperatives
5. Supervisory control and Data Acquisition
6. SCADA components
7. Data communication for SCADA and communication standards including IEC 61850
8. Remote monitoring of network installations using SCADA infrastructure
9. Voltage control in transmission and distribution (Voltage regulators and control by on-load tap changing of transformers)
10. Automatic reclosers for reliability improvement and role of disconnectors
11. Static VAR compensation (single phase and 3 phase)
12. Power factor correction by capacitors (shunt and series compensation)
13. Synchronous condensers

Topic 9

Deregulation of the power industry, the role of market regulator, smart grids

1. Regulation in power industry-current trends and benefits
2. Market operation basics
3. Market operations in the Australian context
4. Role of Network Market operator
5. Smart grid and infrastructure requirements, benefits
6. Microgrids and their role in the integration of customer-site power generation with the network

Topics 10 and 11

Power distribution and role of underground cables, planning of industrial power distribution

1. Power distribution in utility and industry
2. Distribution system configurations: radial, ring, and mesh
3. Equipment used in utility distribution networks
4. Distribution system planning
5. Load and demand calculations, factors to be considered
6. Industrial power distribution fundamentals
7. Distribution architecture and redundant power arrangement for reliable power
8. Cables and their role in distribution networks
9. Cable types and applications
10. Cable sizing calculation and de-rating factors
11. Cable accessories

Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week, students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: PowerFactory

  • Version: N/A

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


  • N/A