Last Updated S022020


Unit Name Power Quality and Energy Efficiency
Unit Code BEE209S
Unit Duration 1 Semester

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

Duration 3 years    

Year Level Two or Three
Unit Creator / Reviewer N/A
Core/Sub-discipline: Sub-discipline
Pre/Co-requisites BSC104C, BEE204S
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 power quality and the efficient use of energy resources. Information covered in this unit will include the meaning of power quality, the factors that affect it, the problems caused by poor quality of supply, and the steps to improve power quality. Additionally, energy efficiency at all stages of power generation, transmission, distribution, and utilisation will also be discussed. The discussion will include how to conduct an energy audit, how to detect areas of significant energy loss during the course of the audit, and how to report the findings regarding measures which can improve energy efficiency and their financial viability. Students will also undertake a project involving a power quality/energy audit study for a typical industrial power network.

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Explain the basic principles of power quality, causes of poor quality, and their effects.
    Bloom’s Level 3

2. Discuss the methods available for the improvement of power quality.
    Bloom’s Level 4

3. Establish a mechanism to monitor power quality in a network, interpret the results, and suggest solutions for improvement.
    Bloom’s Level 6

4. Identify areas of poor energy efficiency in operation and possible improvement measures.
    Bloom’s Level 4

5. Establish in quantitative terms – by performing energy efficiency calculations – the actual losses and benefits of efficiency improvement in terms of return on investment.
     Bloom’s Level 4

6. Assess the challenges of integration of renewable energy sources into power systems and solutions to power quality problems of renewable energy sources. 

    Bloom’s Level 5

7. Outline the process for conducting an energy audit of a facility, and reporting the findings.
    Bloom’s Level 4

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

Topic: Power quality.

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers to 30 questions to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of power quality problems and solutions.

Due after Topic 4 15% 1, 2

Assessment 2 

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

Example Topic: A specific power quality issue and its mitigation  

Due after Topic 7 15% 2, 3

Assessment 3

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

Example Topic: A project covering the energy audit (or power quality audit) of an industrial facility.

Due after Topic 11 20% 5, 6, 7

Assessment 4

Type: Examination

Example Topic: All topics

An examination with a mix of detailed essay type questions and numerical problems to be completed within 2 hours.

Final Week 40% All


Continuous 5% All

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

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

Continuous 5%

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Required textbook(s)

EIT reference books on the topics of power quality (PH) and energy efficiency (EE)

Reference Materials

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

An example is shown below: : How to Do a Basic Energy Audit - June 14, 2012, Environmental Leader.

Unit Content


Topics 1 and 2

Basics of power quality, problems, and solutions

1. Power quality – definition
2. Common types of power quality problems encountered in a system
3. Power interruptions – problems and some reasons for these
4. Reliability indicators (SAIDI, SAIFI, and etc.) used by utilities, and measures to improve reliability
5. Use of automatic circuit reclosers
6. Emergency power, electronic uninterrupted power supply equipment, and engine-based uninterrupted supplies
7. Voltage sag – problems and some reasons for these
8. Voltage regulation methods
9. Flicker and control by SVC equipment
10. Over-voltage and its effects
11. Transient over-voltage and the role of surge protection

Topics 3 and 4

Unbalance and Harmonics and mitigation

1. Unbalance in power systems
2. Symmetrical components for quantifying the unbalance
3. Problems caused by unbalanced current/voltage
4. Mitigation measures
5. Definition of harmonics
6. Fourier theorem for analysis
7. Reason for harmonics
8. Problems caused by harmonics
9. Control of harmonics-principles
10. Harmonic control at source
11. The relation between harmonics and EMI

Topics 5 and 6

The roles of Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) devices and Filters in Power Systems

  1. Types of nonlinear loads
  2. Classification of compensators and FACTS devices employed in power systems
  3. Shunt compensators model and applications
  4. Series compensators model and applications
  5. Shunt & Series compensators model and applications
  6. Classification of filters employed in power systems
  7. Passive filters as used in power systems
  8. Active filters
  9. Hybrid power filters

Topic 7

Power quality studies in an installation

1. Analysis of power quality problems
2. Summary of solutions
3. Case studies from industry
4. Power quality site studies and types of studies
5. Conducting a systematic study
6. Instruments used
7. Study using a power quality analyser
8. Period of study
9. Recording the measurements
10. Analysis of the results
11. Report preparation

Topic 8

Energy forms and the impact of energy losses

1. What is energy?
2. Forms of energy
3. Energy sources and sinks
4. A global look at energy production and sinks
5. Sources of energy and EROEI (Energy Return Of Energy Invested) of different fuels
6. Laws of thermodynamics
7. Environment impact due to energy losses
8. Ozone layer and global warming
9. Sustainability principles
10. The carbon footprint of activity and need for its reduction
11. Energy usage in industrial applications
12. Energy losses and scope for loss reduction

Topic 9

Energy losses in different processes and improving energy efficiency

1. Inefficient fuel use in heating operations
2. Improving combustion efficiency to reduce fuel consumption
3. Heat energy and heat losses with typical examples
4. Obtaining better efficiency by waste heat recovery
5. Reduction of heat losses by proper sealing
6. Loss of heat through charge (process material)
7. Improved processes for better energy usage (examples)
8. Climate control and energy efficiency
9. Cogeneration as a method of heat recovery
10. Electrical energy utilisation
11. Energy conservation opportunities in electrical equipment
12. Variable speed drives for energy saving

Topic 10

Energy audit

1. Energy audit as a means of improvement
2. Areas of audit
3. Instruments used for audit
4. Typical audit procedures
5. Measurements and comparison using graphical representation
6. Financial analysis of investment proposals for energy saving and establishing ROI
7. Audit report

Topic 11

Energy conservation and efficiency (Renewable Energy Systems)

  1. Energy conservation and efficiency
  2. Photovoltaic and thermal solar (power) systems
  3. Horizontal – and vertical-axes wind power (WP) plants
  4. Complementary control of renewable plants with energy storage plants
  5. AC transmission lines versus DC lines
  6. Fast-charging stations for electric cars
  7. Off-shore renewable plants and Other renewable energy plants
  8. Metering

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